Pastor Nick Bal is a man who has greatly influenced my life. He was the college and outreach pastor at Willow Creek when I first started attending in 2011. I remember sitting across from him one day at a Starbucks. I was meeting with him; because I knew there was sin in someone’s life and it needed to be dealt with. I pleaded my case to him and I even had scripture to back up my claim. After I had presented to him the facts, I felt confident that he would agree and we could move forward with “prosecution.”
Pastor Nick did no such thing. He did what any loving pastor should do, and he rebuked me. I was right about that person’s sin; I was right that it needed to be dealt with; and I was even right that I may be the right person to confront this individual.
I hope you are asking, “Well then how in the world did he rebuke you???”
He pointed me to Luke 6:41-42,
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.”
…that was fun to hear!
He explained this passage in way I had never heard it explained, and it stuck with me throughout the years. He said the reason why it was so easy for me to see that person’s sin was not only because of sin in my life, but I most likely had that SAME EXACT sin in my life. I paused, quickly examined my life, and what do you know; I found that same exact sin entrenched and overwhelming in my own life.
I needed to deal with my own sin first.
With this passage properly explained I learned two things:
- When I find myself obsessing over other people’s sin, I need to check my own life for that same exact sin. God is probably using that person’s sin to reveal my own sin.
- This gives me a way to properly confront sin in another person’s life. Instead of pointing your finger at them and saying, “I have noticed sin in YOUR life, and YOU need to work on it!”; I can now say, “ I have noticed sin in YOUR life and MY life, WE need to work on it!”
It is a scary way to process sin in others; but it has completely reshaped my view on confronting sin, and I hope it can do the same for you!