Sunday, December 20, 2020

Lord, is it I?

When Jesus announced to his Apostles that one of them would betray him, they did not begin to accuse one another. Instead, they all began to ask him, "Lord, is it I?"

It is entirely too easy to see the faults in others while neglecting our own self-improvement (see Luke 6:41-42). If we never look inwards at ourselves, we miss opportunities to grow and become more like the disciples Christ wants us to become. We often have the unfortunate tendency to see in others the very shortcomings that we have in ourselves. It is also in our natures to deflect any perceived criticism onto others instead of seeking to learn from it. The remedy is a humble heart that is ready to be taught and corrected, and to seek first to correct ourselves before correcting others.

I'm not proud to admit it, but when I first had the idea for this entry, I was thinking that it was something I wished other people would take to heart more often. Then I realized my mistake, and I commit to do better! I invite everyone to do so along with me. My challenge to you is for one week, try to notice anytime you have a critical thought about another person or group of people, no matter how true or justified the thought may be or appear to be. Then ask, "Lord, is it I?" Humbly ask the Lord to help you identify whether the fault you see in others is in any way manifest in yourself.

The purpose of this exercise is not to ignore legitimate concerns about the behavior of others, nor to become more self-critical. Rather it is to remind ourselves to look inwards at least as often as we look outward. As we do so, we will become less quick to judge and more receptive to the still small voice.