You have probably heard someone say, “Me first!” Children often say these words or similar to show their desire to be first, have the most, or be recognized in some way. I have often reminded children to let others go first and to not push ahead. I have reminded them that Jesus said to do to others what we would them to do to us. Since the child doesn’t like it when other people push themselves in front, he should not demand “me first” now but wait patiently instead.
I am not talking about “Me first!” in that context. I want to talk about a time that we need to put ourselves first. There actually is a time that we should make ourselves be first. That time has to do with sin.
It is easy to see sin in another person. We notice it and think about it and talk about it. Sometimes we talk to the person in an attempt to help. Sometimes we talk to the person in order to be critical. Sometimes we talk to other people so the person discussed looks bad to others.
Instead what we need to do is look at own sin. The problem is that it is so easy to ignore our own sin. We have ways of justifying what we do or explaining it away. What we need to do is to be the first one in a relationship to take care of sin – our own sin.
We need to pray for ourselves first – about our own sin and our own need for forgiveness. Ask God what we have done wrong, what we have done that has not helped the relationship. When the Lord brings to our minds what that is, then be quick to admit that God is right in calling it sin. Don’t argue with God; He knows what is sin and He is always right in His assessment. Then we need to be quick to ask for forgiveness. It is amazing to see how taking care of “self” helps relationships.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye,
but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother,
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
and behold, the log is in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye,
and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
The verses above were spoken by Jesus, and they remind us that we need to take care of ourselves first. When we have experienced the wonderful joy of God’s forgiveness for our own sin, we will be better able to guide others to Him as well.
So when it comes to taking care of sin, it should be “Me first!”