[This sermon is one of a series entitled “Sermon on the Mount, Concentrating on the Beatitudes,” which is being preached on Sunday mornings by Pastor Tim Senter.]
Introspection is a great thing when applied in a Christlike manner. When we look at ourselves through the prism of our Savior, we find that any light beam that emanates from us is tainted with black specks. Some of the light beams in fact may only emit dark hues of barely distinguishable color. That is why we need Jesus. If we see light beams from other believers that tend toward the darker side, we must approach this knowing the darkness we emanate as well.
We last discussed the issues dealing with introspection and identifying sins within ourselves before attempting to help others deal with theirs. Let me just say that the best way to help a beloved Christian brother or sister is through a testimony on how you yourself overcame a specific sin with the Lord. I pray you realize that when you have come through a difficult time your brother or sister can benefit from that – but only when it is conveyed in love. If you have come through a trying time, or a time of great sinful behavior where through the Lord you were delivered and not destroyed, that is a very comforting thing for others to know. However, it may just be a small speck or splinter and if you approach the situation inappropriately, you run the risk of making it a beam in the eye of another. You have a testimony, that is wonderful, and testimonies normally help others. The best testimony given to others in the wrong attitude or with an improper heart can hurt more than help. When a testimony is not desired, one should not give it. This is the road Jesus takes us down today.
Look at Matthew 7:6 please. Many wonder how this verse is connected to those above. Redactors[i] would say this is a break in the traditional recounting that was modified. However, with careful and proper application of the teachings in verses 1 through 5 we begin to understand the connection in verse six.
At first this scripture seems completely disconnected from the previous discussion. However, considering carefully what came before, this is further warning to be discerning, make the most of your witness and testimony. Trust your spirit which is under the influence of the Holy Spirit within you.
You may not have an opportunity to witness to someone as you think you should. I know I have waited with baited breath to say something to an individual and could not steer the conversation in the proper direction to save my life. I have purposefully gone to places and begun a conversation on spiritual things only to find that the individual was antagonistic, un-teachable or just as negative as they might possibly be. I have stood in doorways, on street corners and side walks talking to people with a clear and focused mind only to find that when the opportunity came about, the words left my mind without ever reaching my lips. I have also met stern and almost virulent criticism or ridicule for sharing Christ with people. All we have to say is, “Jesus died for your sins” and sometimes we cannot even get that out without a profane diatribe in retort.
As mentioned above, one must discern when their testimony will be beneficial or when it will be mocked, derided and ignored. There are times still when our testimony may fall prey to one of these wicked things by some, but others in the crowd may see it for what it is, purely of Christ (this assumes that the testimony is exactly that – of Christ). Continue reading