One of the most impactful books I’ve read is C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. It’s an account of a master demon, Screwtape, advising his young nephew, Wormwood, on how to distract their human “patients” and turn them away from God.
Early into the book we read:
“All you have to do us to keep out of his mind the question ‘If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?’”
Too often we look to the downfalls of others and determine that they are somehow worse off than we are. We may even label them hypocrites or liars. As Lewis points out, we all have our vices, our misdeeds. We each find as unique of ways to sin as we do excuses to justify them. So why do we get caught up in what others are doing?
There is nothing we can do to fix others, at least not today. But let us first take care of our own issues. Let us get right with God. And if you really care about others, and what they are doing, after you’ve come clean and addressed your own concerns, then maybe you’ll be in the right frame of mind to help them, in love.
– What vices keep you from being where you want to be?
– How do you need to address that?
– Have you been judgmental of others in their sin? What should you do about that?
For further reading on this subject, see what Jesus has to say in Matthew 7:1-6.