Home Outreach Leaders If You Have No Sin, Go Ahead and Point out Everyone Else’s

If You Have No Sin, Go Ahead and Point out Everyone Else’s

pointing out sin
I bet you’ve heard this phrase before: “The pot calling the kettle black.” This idiom was coined when pots and kettles hung over wood-burning stoves. The longer they hung over the fire, the blacker they became. So a pot and a kettle used over the same stove would be equally as black. For a pot to call a kettle black would be to call names and point out flaws in the kettle that are true of itself as well. 

Do you ever notice that we are often a bunch of pots and kettles, pointing out the flaws in others that we are just as guilty of ourselves? 

In John 8:1-11, John tells a story about when the teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus. These teachers of the law said, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?” 

These guys thought they knew what the “Law” said, but they were just waiting for Jesus to tell them they were right. And if He didn’t, they were probably ready to stone him too. 

So what did Jesus say? He didn’t tell them to stone her, but He didn’t tell them not to, either. Instead, he responded, “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” And what happens? Scripture says that they went “away one at a time, the older ones first.” 

Imagine standing there. All these esteemed “keepers of the law” walking away from a lawbreaker, each one letting their stones drop to the ground. With each soft thud of the dropping stones a confession was made:

(thud), yep, me too, I’ve sinned. 
(thud) I’ve done just as bad, if not worse. 

(thud) I am that kettle, and you are that pot. I am no better than you.

Sometimes we’re just as hypocritical as those Pharisees. Just as Christ taught us in Matthew 7:3-5, we have no business pointing out the speck in another’s eye when we should be more concerned with the plank in our own. Only after we identify the sin in our life will we be able to help our brothers and sisters deal with their struggles. 

We must keep the right perspective of others and ourselves in light of the Cross of Christ. By doing so, we’ll realize that although we’re all dirty like pots and kettles, we’re all cleansed by grace alone.

This article about pointing out sin in others originally appeared here and is used by permission.