“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” – Matthew 23:11-12
Jesus issues a stern warning against hypocrisy today. As I read through the lines of the Gospel, I am reminded of people I know who do not “preach but they do not practice.” A few more thoughts more, and I find myself getting very worked up, mentally pointing fingers and shooting off blame for situations of which I am not happy.
This line of thinking really took center stage toward the latter half of last year. Particularly at work, I found myself frustrated with a few notable others that, try as I may, I couldn’t shake off. As the year ended and as this new year eases its way onward, I came to a startling realization – that the issues that I had most strongly with these notable others – were exactly the issues that I unknowing had unresolved within myself, about myself. For instance, I was so pent up about an individual constantly delaying projects and then passing the blame onto others. Little did I realize, I was doing the same in other areas of my own life. This would continue as I went through my list of grievances. As I saw how unforgiving I had become of others, I saw even more so how unforgiving I had become of myself.
To say that I was humbled was an understatement. Even today as another Lenten season is upon us, I still catch myself being more of a Pharisee than I realize. Yet, I am also learning to become more confident in God’s love and mercy through it all.
What are the “hot buttons” or pet peeves of others in my life, and what might they be inviting me to look at within my own self? Lord, please help me to see it all with a gentle and compassionate heart.
Reflected by Quyen (Nhi) Ngo