Not Independence but God-Dependence (Matthew 7:1-5)

Is our faith and spiritual life dependent upon the faith of others?

Do we ever allow the failings of others to influence us? If someone we interact with on a regular basis disappoints us, will that encourage or diminish our own faith or does it matter?

Disappointment has many faces. It may arrive harshly as an argument or missed appointment or slither in subtly as an unanswered question. Regardless of the reason, we may feel slighted because the offending party did not live up to our expectations. But at the heart of this disappointment is the fact is you are judging someone by your standards and not God’s. Are we in the place of God? Certainly not.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And 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 7:1-5

If we are believers, we should be looking to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as our example of how to treat others, especially if they disappoint us. We should allow God, through His Holy Spirit, to influence our every thought and action. And if we fail to do so, our spiritual life will be affected because our prayers and spiritual life will be hindered. Jesus warned Peter about what it means to truly forgive someone.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “ I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22

We cannot hold grudges nor can we give lip service when it comes to forgiving others. True forgiveness involves a change in behavior on the part of the forgiver. True forgiveness is love and love is patient, kind, and bears all things. Our faith and spiritual life are only dependent upon God and how we forgive others is the true sign of whether we are living a true God-dependent life. It is not independence but God-dependence.

Love and respect the Lord; seek His will in your life.