Do you ever consider how often we use Scripture to prove ourselves right? To back up actions that other people view as unloving?
Yet how often do we use Scripture to gauge the state of our own hearts and souls?
There are so many commands and instructions in the Bible, and we Christians often use these to argue with other people about why they are wrong. We may not frame it that way. We may not ever admit that we’re judging someone as wrong and trying to prove ourselves right. We frame it with all kinds of fancy terms like discipling, and imparting truth, and doing God’s will, and sharing the gospel, and—my personal favorite—correcting in love.
But, if Scripture is for rebuking and correcting, how often do we use it to rebuke and correct ourselves? Jesus commands in various places to watch out for false prophets. He often uses wolf/sheep metaphors to get his point across.
When reading these passages, do you ever internalize the command, and wonder if you have sometimes acted as a false prophet, a wolf leading sheep astray? In Matthew 7, Jesus says you will know false prophets by their actions. Do you ever ponder your own actions, and wonder if you’ve done anything that might mislead someone about the truth of the kingdom of heaven? Have you ever lost your temper? Have you ever been dishonest—even a little bit? Have you ever said something hurtful that you wished you hadn’t? Have you ever alienated a non-Christian with divisive or judgmental words, or shut someone out of the kingdom of heaven based on a flawed idea of what the kingdom is?