“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge….
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:1-10
Just because someone is doing wrong to us doesn’t justify our own wrongdoing. Sounds pretty obvious, and we may be quick to not only agree with this but to claim that we abide by this and don’t excuse our own wrongs by focusing instead on how others are hurting us. But if we’re honest with ourselves, sometimes we become consumed with others’ wrongdoing and refuse to look at our own and repent before God and make the changes WE need to make.
If someone has hurt you, or is hurting you right now, if someone has done wrong that affects you in some way, let me ask you a question. What are YOU doing wrong? Are YOU doing anything wrong? Have you searched your OWN heart and actions? Have you sought the Lord to see if YOU need to repent?
Sometimes the way we respond to people who have wronged us is WRONG. Vengeance. Revenge. Bitterness. Hatred. Verbal abuse. Control. Manipulation. Slander. Gossip. Bad mouthing. Pride. Judgment. Criticism. Nagging. Condemnation. And the like.
Sometimes we aren’t wrong in the way we respond to people who have wronged us but we TAKE IT OUT ON OTHER PEOPLE. Bad attitude. Hurting others. Losing our temper with others. Selfishness. Being consumed with ourselves. Doing to others what was done wrong to us. And more.
Sometimes we respond to people who have wronged us by HURTING OURSELVES with drunkenness, an eating disorder, isolating ourselves, cutting off people who love us because we’re afraid of being hurt again, withdrawing our love from people and refusing to get close to them (which hurts them too!), not allowing ourselves to be loved, turning to drugs and sexual immorality, etc.
Whether we may be responding to others’ wrongdoing by doing wrong to them, to others, or to ourselves, or any combination of this, the one we hurt most of all and the one we are ultimately sinning against is the Lord God almighty.
We are not responsible for others’ wrongdoing, but we most assuredly are responsible for our own.
Do you need to examine yourself before the Lord?