The Word of God is the source of power, not our filthy rags.

Comparing your filthy rags to mine or someone else’s is not only useless for righteousness (because we should only compare ourselves to Christ and be humbled), but it is not a profitable example we want to set for others to follow (comparison, division, outwardly pointed fingers vs self examination, repentance, Christ dependence).

Jesus knew His audience and spoke to their needs, not “about others”. The arrows were pointed at those listener’s hearts and not at the world, and not at those not in attendance to defend themselves.

He didn’t spend His time standing around talking to the people about the Pharisees (or “other people’s sins”) and condemning those not in attendance. He didn’t teach comfort where I am because I can look out and see the errors of others. No!

Outward facing messages are pridefully self serving and self egrandizing instead of humble testimonies of self examination and repentance, and they can be founded upon a foolish, prideful, works based perspective of “we’re doing so much better than them” perspective instead of a humble, “I’m the chemist of sinners” perspective.

When the Pharisees were specifically there and were his audience, he addressed it by speaking what the Pharisees needed to hear, but He didn’t let that distract from the message that mattered when his listeners were the public.

I’ve seen men with good intentions but a lack of understanding about who their audience is — teach rebellious people to hate authority because it tickles their ears — just as often as I’ve heard others teach ceremonial people to stay the course and not stop by the wayside because it tickles their ears as well.

And both are in error because the message is setting people’s eyes upon others instead of upon themselves.

I say these things, because I have seen the error in my own ways in this area.

And because I have been willing to see it in myself and repent, I can clearly see it in others to pray for them and speak to them individually about my testimony as a friend, in hopes of gently bringing them to repentance. I don’t share because I’ve ignored self application in preference for using it as a sword of division and war against my brother.