Something is terribly wrong with our spiritual perception when we can grieve over the sins of others, while at the same time never being moved to repentance over our own. Its a Pharisee state of mind; one in which we would publicly condemn and stone a woman for her adultery, while secretly enjoying our own sins. If we would point out sin (and there are times that we should) let us first remember Jesus sermon to the Pharisees: He that is without sin, let him cast the stone first. The only individual that really has the right to preach against sin is the one whos not sinning. If we cannot conquer our own sins, the last thing we should be doing is worrying about some elses sin. Lets remove the beam from our own eye, Jesus would say, before trying to remove a mote from anothers eye.
I wonder how it would affect our ministries if we never said another word concerning the sins of our day, until we dealt with our own. Or for that matter, what if we stopped preaching altogether until our own sins was dealt with. Would we have to stop preaching for a day, a month, or a year in order to repent and get the victory; or would we have to take an early retirement from ministry? I know that there is a great deal of sinning going on in the world, and in many so called churches. I also know that God has required His watchmen to sound an alarm against it; but how can we with a clear conscience speak out against it if we ourselves are involved in it? That not only makes us a Pharisee, but a hypocrite as well. From many different individuals, I am hearing questions like, Is there anyone out there with any victory anymore? The truth is, most of the time these people have ministers in mind when they are asking. They are asking these questions because more and more, secrete sins are surfacing in the ministry.
Could it be that the reason why many ministers have chosen to focus their ministry upon the goodness, mercy, grace, and compassions of God, be due to the knowledge of their own sins? Its just a thought. I would certainly be the least hypocritical approach. Though God is extremely gracious, good, merciful, and compassionate, choosing to focus on these qualities of God to keep from being a hypocrite is not the answer. There is a greater answer to the sin problem, and it is that Person that we speak so often of Jesus Christ. The good news about Jesus that the angel proclaimed to Joseph still holds true today; He shall save His people from their sins. We should make haste to confess our sins before God before our sins are exposed and we have to shamefully confess before men. 1John 1:9 states If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. People are not always as forgiving. This is what we need: Forgiveness and cleansing! How many times have we asked God to forgive us? We need to be washed and sanctified from our filth.
One last word of caution: It should not be our fear of men that causes us to run to God for mercy and forgiveness; but it should be our fear of God. Jesus stated emphatically, I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luk 12:5 In a recent conversation with a minister whos past had caught up with him, he stated that out of his sin coming to light, God had showed him that he feared men more than he did God. He had cared immensely what men had thought, but had forgotten that he should fear God more. May we fear Him above all.
A great sermon thats available on this site that really helps to drive these truths home is called Reality In The Life Of A Christian by Zac Poonen.