But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
One of the hardest things to do as a pastor is to try and help people who cannot be helped. What I mean by this statement is they never see their wrong, but they always see the wrong of others. They come to me for help, but they cannot be helped because all they do is point their finger at the flaws of others instead of looking at the common denominator of wrong, which is them.
Jesus came across a situation like this when a lawyer came and asked what he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus knew this was an arrogant statement because to think that one can inherit eternal life is to think very highly of oneself. This lawyer could see himself doing no wrong. This lawyer was willing to justify everything he did as good; therefore, this man was beyond help, even by the Saviour.
If Jesus cannot help someone because they justify themselves, that would mean you are beyond help when you never see your own wrong. The first step to getting help is to admit your wrong. To admit your wrong is never accomplished when you have to point out the flaws of others to justify your own wrong. For instance, many will come to me and say, “I know that I am not perfect, but…” It is that little conjunction “but” that keeps me from helping them. A person is helpless until they remove the conjunction from their life. Let me give you several thoughts about this truth.
First, the only one you are hurting by not admitting your wrong is yourself. To continue to point to the flaws of others only makes your situation worse. It is not until you come to the end of yourself and admit your wrong that you can be helped. Your problem is not everyone else; your problem is you. Your problem is not what your spouse is doing; your problem is that you justify your wrong because of what your spouse is doing. Your problem is not your parents, but your problem is that you won’t fix your problems because you blame your parents for what you are doing. Your problem is not your preacher or some preacher from the past; your problem is that you are using how you feel you were mistreated by a preacher from your past as a crutch to continue to do wrong. You are helpless UNTIL you admit you are wrong without any excuses.
Second, you are not making yourself look better by deflecting your problems onto someone else. You may think you have everyone fooled by deflecting your problems, but you can't see your problems are exposed to everyone because you are so focused on yourself. My friend, everyone sees your problems no matter how hard you try to hide them.
Third, when you continually have problems with different people, you would be wise to see the common denominator, YOU! Why is it that you continually have problems everywhere you go? Why is there a problem with every job you have had? Why is it that every church you go to is never good enough? The answer is the common denominator, you.
The only one you are hurting by justifying yourself is you. You can blame everyone else and see everyone else’s problems, but you cannot change them. Spend your energy changing the one you have the power to change, which is you, and you will see your problems with others dissipate.