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Focusing on the Sin of Others

When our children were young, my husband and I decided we wouldn't watch R-rated movies. We wouldn't allow our children to watch them, so we decided that to watch them ourselves would be confusing to them. We made this decision in good conscience and never regretted it. I found, however, that it made me feel judgmental toward other parents who watched R-rated movies. I began to feel they weren't fully committed to Christ because they watched things I'd decided not to watch.

Even as I write this, I realize how ridiculous it is to judge someone's relationship with God by what rating of movies he or she watches, but it was so subtle at the time. Since it was a sacrificial commitment for me, I instinctively evaluated other people's spiritual dedication when they talked about the latest movie they'd watched. As I made this judgment, I never thought about my own sin or all the things that person was doing right. Instead, I focused on this one thing I thought they were doing wrong.

The ability to see sin in others and ignore it in your own heart is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a Pharisee, and being a Pharisee is so easy. It's great to make rules to guide our own behavior, but when we extend those rules to everyone around us, we're in danger of becoming pharisaical.

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