BLIND TO OUR SIN
The following is a true story (though the details tend to vary slightly according to which source you use.)
Back in 1893, there was a group of four sisters in Iowa. They called themselves the Cherry Sisters and made their stage debut in Cedar Rapids in a skit they wrote themselves. It was terrible. But, for three years, the Cherry Sisters performed to packed theatres throughout the Midwest. People came to see them, to find out if they were as bad as they had heard! Their unbelievably atrocious acting enraged critics and provoked the audience to throw vegetables at the would-be actresses. Wisely, the sisters thought it best to travel with an iron screen which they would erect in front of the stage in self-defence.
Amazingly, in 1896 the girls were offered a thousand dollars a week to perform on Broadway — not because they were so good, but because they were so unbelievably bad. Seven years later, after the Cherry Sisters had earned what in that day was a respectable fortune of $200,000, they retired from the stage for the peaceful life back on the farm.
Oddly enough, these successful Broadway “stars” remained convinced to the end that they were truly the most talented actresses ever to grace the American stage. They never had a clue as to how bad they truly were! They naively believed that the tossed vegetables were either unrestrained tributes to their talent or acts of jealousy by less talented people.
How could they be so blind? I find it all too easy to understand. The truth is, like everyone else, I am blind to many of my shortcomings. I fail to recognize that I have a problem with impatience or lack of compassion or pride. Don’t get me wrong — I have no trouble seeing those faults (and many more as well!) in the lives of people around me. I can readily see how sinful everyone else is. But even when people “toss vegetables” at me, I still insist there’s no problem with me.
Jesus had something to say about this to the Pharisees (and of course it’s easy for me to sin, by thinking how sinful THEY were!):
“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-4) It is interesting to note that in the Original Language, the difference between the two objects is about as extremely opposite as you can possibly get, the “Speck” is minute, blink and it is gone sized, yet the “Plank” is more like a Telegraph Pole, or a Tree Trunk. It is so easy to “Major in Minors” and make “Mountains out of Mole Hills” and make My Sin just so miniscule, and Their Sin is filling the earth it is so big and of the very worst type, it is so easy to judge with two “Rule Books” Me, I am excused, and You, well you are condemned for being you and everything you do, ever did, and ever will do.
The “Golden Rule” is summed up this way “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” or “Treat everybody in exactly the same way that you so desire to be treated. It is so easy to have our own “Darling Sins” as they are so very minor, not worth the mention, but if you ever were guilty of these self-same sins, then you are just the worst of the worst, you see my “Darling Sins” are just so, well God just Overlooks them for me, you unwisely think. We can so easily beat others about just trying to remove the specks from their eyes with the telegraph pole sticking out of our own eye, when Jesus admonishes us to remove our own sins first.
Then again, we should “Love the Sinner” and hate the sin, or as one writer put it, “I am so busy hating my own sin, so you are just going to just have to hate your own sin.” Becoming like the Cherry Sister is so easy, you see everybody else has faults, me, well I am in a different class, it is so easy to fall into the trap of being “Blind to my own Sin.” Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” People in Glass Houses should not throw stones, is a saying that still holds true, as we can overlook our “Darling Sins” and yet condemn others for the same failings and short comings, totally blind to our own sin.
Just get closer to the purity of Heaven and Jesus Christ, and the heavenly light shining from Scripture, the Holy Spirit, the pure life of our Saviour will certainly shine brightly, thus highlighting our personal failings and short comings. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” James 1:22-25 MSG “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.”
There is an old saying, “There are none so blind as those who will not see,” it is so sad that we can so quickly overlook our “Darling Sins” or worse, be totally blinded to our sin; so time for a change, a new sin free life in Jesus Christ, just try it, you will absolutely love it.