Have you not sins of your own against the Lord your God? 2 Chronicles 28:10
Here is the danger in attaining success in any struggle of my flesh natured: When I find some victory over food, drugs or lust, I tend to become prideful. I think, I’ve dealt with my mess so I’m good now. I see myself as Captain Recovery as I condescend to anyone still wallowing in the struggle.
It’s not that I shouldn’t share what Christ has done for me and it’s not that I should never address the destructive behavior of others. The problem is the arrogant, judgmental attitude that I assume when I begin to think highly of myself, forgetting that I still have a multitude of other flaws. My drug use was but a symptom of the greater disease of my flesh nature, which will be with me until death. I may not be using drugs, but I still sin.
This seems to be the tone of the prophet Oded in today’s passage. In the story, King Ahaz led the people of Judah astray, worshipping false gods. God, in turn, allowed Israel to subjugate them. During Israel’s conquest of Judah, Oded confronted the leaders of Israel. Enough! God has used you to discipline Judah, but you’ve taken it too far. You think you are the righteous hand of God, but you have your own sins!
We often do this. We deal with some self-destructive behavior, only to succumb to blinding pride. In our pride, we try to help others, but we overreach, becoming condescending and judgmental. I’ve dealt with my garbage. Now I’ve earned the right to point out your mess.
Again, it’s not that we aren’t called to share what Christ has accomplished in our lives, it is just that we must always choose humility, remembering who it is that has accomplished it. Apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). Our job is not to become Captain Recovery, pointing to our own heroic deeds. It is always our privilege to point others to the God who is still saving us from our own mess.