I found another gem in Spurgeon’s “Snare of the Fowler” that I couldn’t help but share. (By the way, I think everyone should read Spurgeon slowly and meditatively because there’s a lot of wisdom in his messages.
This one is on one of my worst besetting sins–pride. I firmly believe that it’s a sin that everyone struggles with, and maybe if you don’t think you struggle with it, you just haven’t realized the form it takes in your life. That’s why this quote on how Satan adapts his traps for each person was so meaningful to me.
O! how often it happens, beloved, that you and I condemn a t hing in another person which we allow in ourselves, perhaps without knowing it. We say of such a one, How proud he is! Well, our pride is not exactly of that shape; we have got another shaped pride, but the same article; labeled different, but the same thing. Satan adapts the pride to each particular case. We are rich: he does not tempt us to the pride of riches, but he tempts us to the pride of mastership, and makes us harsh masters to our servants. Or if he does not tempt us to that pride, he perhaps enchants us with the pride of generosity, and we are apt to boast of our kindness and of what we have given away. He will always adapt his trap to hid man, and his bait to his bird. He will not tempt you all with the same temptation he would tempt me with: nor me with the temptation with which he would naturally assail another.
I can’t read that without thinking of how often I have seen a sin in someone else and failed to see it myself. It reminds me of Matthew 7:1-5: Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
I think we need some careful self-examination of our own motives and our own pride before we begin to think that we can help someone else overcome their pride (or even criticize their sin of pride). After all, we’re all in this together as brothers and sisters in Christ.