Oh, how I need to hear this continually! From Mark Lauterbach at the Gospel Driven Life blog:
It takes no advanced degree to find fault with another man — or to show the stupidity of someone else’s thinking. It takes much grace to see God at work in a fellow redeemed sinner whose life is marred by sin and marked by grace. It takes grace to see it and strengthen it. It takes grace to encourage them in a way that glorifies God and strengthens faith…
My children tell me I am very hard to please. I do not think I am — I think I have very good standards and they need to measure up. I wake up in the morning and the first thing I see is what has not been done. I see faults all over. I am God’s agent to make them excellent.
A few years ago a friend saw my sin and encouraged me to spend a whole summer doing nothing but encouraging my children. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Every day I would look for grace in them but find faults. I had to bite my tongue all the time. But the fruit on their lives and our relationship was amazing.
So — as I lead my family, do they hear my criticism more than my commendation? Do I see myself as the great and indispensable fault-finder? As I relate to fellow-Christians, am I more aware of their sin or of their growth in sanctification?
I am learning this most crucial element of fellowship — and seeing it as the first step. Until I see grace in others I am in no position to help them grow by pointing out their sin.
I say: Well done, Mark. Thank you for this reminder!
On this topic Mark also recommends C.J. Mahaney’s message: Grace and the Adventure of Leadership. How would you respond to the incestuous, sin saturated Corinthians? Be humbled by this message. Another excellent (and now free) audio message from Sovereign Grace Ministries.