2 Corinthians 7 NKJV
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Our overriding goal, as Christians, should be to purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit by practicing holiness of reverence for God. God's Word is like a mirror that points out the areas we need to improve. Likewise in marriage, we have many opportunities to practice God-like behaviors, when those areas for improvement are revealed.
With marriage in mind, what does Luke 6: 41-42 NKJV say to the self-centered spouse who only focuses on the weaknesses of his or her spouse?
Luke 6: 41-42 NKJV
41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye.
The focus should be on our own weaknesses, not our spouse's. As a Christian, we are asked to examine our self continuously to ensure we are growing spiritually. One way to tell if we are maturing as a Christian is to be courageous enough to work on our own problems, with God's Holy Spirit guiding us. If we are focusing on our spouse's issues instead of our own, we stop maturing. God wants each of us to grow spiritually. That means we need to access our own issues, not someone else's.
Typically, our own weaknesses are much larger than that of our spouse. When we are able to point out someone else's weakness, it is usually because we have the same weaknesses to a greater degree. We know that weakness is very well and we do not want to tolerate it in others. Seeing someone else's weakness should be a reminder to our self we have issues to work on.
When we focus on their weakness instead of our own we become hypocritical. Everyone else can see you have a "plank" in your eye, yet you do not and think you can help another with their minuscule problem. Hypocrisy will keep people from coming to know the Lord as their Savior. We are Jesus' witnesses. If we are hypocritical, what does that say about our witness for Christ? Do you want to push people away from saving grace into eternal damnation? Or do you want to draw them near to God to be saved? The choice is yours. Hypocrisy is a killer. Do not let yourself be drawn in to living a life of hypocrisy. Get into a small group, who will help you stay accountable and focused on your own issues, instead of someone else's.
Do you see how God's Word and marriage can be a mirror revealing truths about our self? You do not even have to wait for your spouse to point out you're focusing on them instead of your own problems. You can assess your own thoughts. If you find your thoughts driving more towards your spouse's issues, then entrust them back in. Cross check the issue you were just thinking about, do you have that issue? If so, ask yourself how can I work on improving that? Ask God for help. He will guide you through the process of becoming more like Him.
Lord, thank you for your Word that straightens us out and leads us on the path to life. Help us have the strength and courage to work on our own issues, instead of pointing out other's flaws. Thank you for perfecting us in your righteousness and that you are faithful to complete that work in us when Christ returns. Help us be willing to hear and obey your prompting for change in our own life. Amen.