I had a conversation with my mother-in-Christ about pet peeves a few weeks ago. She mentioned how pet peeves are things that we may have but that we shouldn’t if we are dead to the flesh. I never looked at it that way because I was so conditioned to think that EVERYONE has pet peeves. Not only did I think that everyone had pet peeves but I also thought that as unique individuals we had a right to have them. When God opened my eyes it began to make sense that we should not have pet peeves if we are led by the Spirit. Annoyances are things that stir the flesh, which means annoyances need to be eliminated by the crucifixion of our old man.
Earlier this week God led me to examine my pet peeves. I have tons of pet peeves that I have personally gathered through the years and some inspired by family but none worth mentioning. I believe God wanted me to revisit my recent conversation about pet peeves because He wanted me to realize how many of my pet peeves that I commit. I thought it was interesting because as I thought about the things that annoy and easily bring me to anger, God led the finger around others and back to me. Who would have thought that as much as I find things annoying, rude, wrong, etc. that I would be the queen of mastering a majority of them?
Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV): “3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
In addition to what I shared above, I was led to write this article because of what God is willing to do in our lives. There has been times when I have caught someone lying and shook my head in disappointment. It was then that God reminded me when I had lied earlier that day. There has been times when I witnessed someone watering down the Gospel to comfort sinners and days later God was convicting me for that same transgression. It is times like that which God uses to lead me to take the plank out of my own eye. Past ourselves, God will sometimes lead us to share His truth with others regarding sin (1 Corinthians 9:23). However, the catch is that we cannot be hypocritical and insensitive as if we don’t have our own spiritual planks. We need to humbly address sin as God leads with the same passion we address our own sins! It is so easy to point the finger at others with fury and disgust but when God turns that finger back around… reality sets in. If we use the same enthusiasm that we use to expose the sins of others to correct our own sins, there will be more personal deliverance. If we pray to God as hard about our sins as we do about the sins of our family and friends then we will find those personal sins disappearing. And if we evangelize the Gospel eagerly to ourselves as we do to sinners, maybe we can grow to have a PERSONAL, TRUE, and INTIMATE relationship with God. Who said Christians don’t have cleaning up to do even as servants of Christ? I know I do.
In the world someone can examine your home and tell you about every issue and thing that needs to be remodeled before your home is destroyed. Then sadly, that same person can leave without concern or feeling of obligation to help. As I sit here writing this article I am so relieved to know that I serve a God who is willing to remove every plank in my walk with Him. After He shows us our spiritual misconduct isn’t it refreshing to know that He is revealing so that He can start removing? When I see wrong in others I first do a check with the Holy Spirit to see if that is a personal transgression of mine. If you feel like you don’t hear from the Holy Spirit ask Him which sins you commit. He may tell you more than you want to hear but all of it will be righteous and true. When interacting with others, if what I am witnessing is something the Holy Spirit tells me I need to be delivered from, I pray that I am and I thank the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit tells me that I do not struggle with a sin I see operating in an individual I thank the Holy Spirit and I ask for protection against it. Just because we don’t currently suffer from a sin doesn’t mean that the fiery arrows of the devil aren’t ready to be shot our way. It is easy to be swept into sin as I can attest to once stating that I was not a drinker and then one day shortly after, I was on a path to becoming an alcoholic. It is just that easy. There has even been times when the Holy Spirit has assured me that I have been delivered from what I saw manifesting in someone right in front of me. That is always a joyous occasion that should lead us to praise! While I check with the Holy Spirit about my own spiritual standing I try to be in a position to also be selfless so that I can pray and intercede for others. Sometimes the Lord will lead us to speak truth to others and sometimes He won’t. Either way, we need to be doing a check on ourselves. This idea is similar to the article How Am I Lookin’?. With every interaction that we have, we should compare its fruit with the fruit and standards of God. Along the journey of God abolishing the planks out of our eyes we may be led to help saw away pieces of wood in the eye of someone else. For the rest of our lives on earth we will have some type of plank in or around us regardless of the size or location. With that being said, we will never be in a position to call out error regarding others without calling our error on our own behalf.
God is a faithful God and we need to let our faith in Him reign (1 Corinthians 1:9)! Whenever God shows me an area that I need to develop in or change, I am encouraged that He even cares enough to inspect. As we desire to help others it is important that we first work to help ourselves. I don’t mean this in a selfish way but it is hypocrisy at its finest for one to say that they despise thieves but are contemplating when they should wear their newest pair of stolen shoes. Even while I write articles for this blog God has to remind me that we will sometimes have to preach about what we struggle with. There is a fine line between working with God to be free and denying personal transgression. If God tells you to disprove the lies about smoking marijuana being biblically supported in the midst of you fasting and praying to be delivered, don’t feel incapable. You better say what God tells you to say and keep in mind that He wants that same truth you are sharing to live through your life. When the world is living by and condoning the pot calling the kettle black philosophy, God is saying come out from them and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). In summary, we need to make sure that we have an agreement with God to start digging out planks infecting our lives before we try to wiggle the plank from someone else. With joy, compassion, understanding and most importantly love, we can be set free as God uses us to free others! God please give us spiritual Visine so that we may see as brightly and clearly as you intend. Thank You Jesus for the power and cleansing that flows from Your precious blood!