Look Who's Guilty!

by Tim Hall
Those responsible for investigating others have now been investigated.
parkingtickets2.jpgA story carried by Reuters News Service on February 25, 2010 will surely bring many vengeful smiles.
In an effort to raise revenue during the worldwide recession, the government of Bulgaria has ordered an investigation of civil servants who have outstanding fines.
Found during the search were more than 400 tax inspectors who have failed to pay traffic tickets. The amount of the fines will be deducted from the February pay of each of these.
How can one occupy a position of “tax inspector” and yet not pay what they themselves owe? You can be sure no one will be hosting a telethon to raise funds for these poor public officials!
This story immediately brings to mind the warning given by Jesus in Matthew 7:1-3:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (NKJV).

Finding fault in others is quite common. Seeing that you aren’t perfect helps me feel a little less guilty for my faults. I may even feel superior upon discovering your shortcomings!
Since such scrutiny makes me feel good (in a bad sort of way), judging others becomes a habit.
The clearest warning against such a mind-set is found in Matthew 18:21-35. A servant who had been forgiven a staggering debt would not forgive a fellow-servant’s trivial debt.
In the process the ungrateful servant forfeited his own mercy. In the hands of the torturers he undoubtedly regretted his judgmental ways.
Don’t miss the point of the parable: “So my heavenly father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).
As we inspect the lives of those around us, handing out citations for each fault discovered, let us remember to begin with our own lives. Thus humbled by the reality of our own failings, perhaps we’ll show the mercy God expects of his people.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

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