I have far more in common with the Israelites than I am comfortable with.  Each time I look at their relationship with God, I am convicted.  Over and over again, it causes me to examine my own heart.  The most recent example came while discussing with some friends the Israelite’s anticipation of a Messiah, what they were looking for, and their reaction to the Messiah when He showed up.

The Israelites expected the Messiah to come as a sword wielding king to destroy their enemies, and deliver them from the Romans. They were looking for the ultimate superpower to stand beside them, stare with them across the battlefield and conquer their enemy.  They did not expect someone like Jesus.  A barn-born, servant king asking us to examine our own hearts. 

I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by some amazing men, and they all had the same annoying habit.  Whether I was complaining about school, my boss, my new bride, it did not matter.  Each time I wanted/expected them to agree with me, they instead asked me to examine my own heart. It was so frustratingly accurate!  Despite how aggravating it was at the time, I knew they were right.  I was, and still am, very willing to shine a light on the sin of others while ignoring my own.  

In “Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community” Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, ““If my sinfulness appears to me to be in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all. … How can I possibly serve another person in unfeigned humility if I seriously regard his sinfulness as worse than my own?”

Definitely something to think about.