We often perceive others challenges in life before we see our own. It is easy to do and many times not even intentional. Gradually we develop the double chin, or the wrinkle here or there. However, when days, weeks or months separate us from others, we see their changes as though they are new. Most of this is due to our personally developed perception of ourselves as right or the standard by which others should be compared.
Many sins develop that same way. They are normally not egregious, in our eyes. However, to God one sin of any sort disqualifies you from heaven. (James 2:10) What sorts of sins are these?
Gossip is probably the most prevalent. We are communicative creatures. Social settings lend themselves to this sin more readily than we might know. Talking about anyone outside of their presence is sinful. When we regularly visit with a specific set of friends we get comfortable with them and complacent about our sin nature. Often the first inhibition to go is gossip. Mix this with any anger or pride (which everyone has) and it quickly develops into slander and from there backbiting with malice. We are to esteem others higher than ourselves not levy our personal expectations upon them.
Next is probably pride. It begins when gossip turns to slander but grows to demand its own way. “Why couldn’t they just do X or Y? I know what I would have done.” Pride becomes selective concerning relationships, it ascribes worthiness. The disciples asked Jesus who would be first. Without first considering others, they assumed they were worthy (Mark 10:31). In Luke 18:9-14 the Pharisee’s pride blinded him to honorable humility and worship in a tax collector.
Isolating ourselves provides comfort to our challenged soul, but God wants us to be with others. He wants us to choose to control ourselves, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
We should first think of humbling ourselves, then how special others are in comparison. (Ephesians 5:21; James 4:10) Perceive first your sins and humility will follow, it will enrich your life. (Matthew 7:3, 5)