Before we’re angered by what’s wrong around us, are we grieved by what’s wrong in us?

(Excerpted from chapter one of Keepers of the Way)

As pilgrims pursuing holiness, we have an accurate estimation of the danger and tragedy of sin. We don’t underestimate it. Additionally, we recalibrate our response to sin wherever we find it. And we often get this wrong.

Our first response to sin should not be anger or disgust, but grief. And the first sin to grieve us should be our own. (You can tweet this.)

If we haven’t grieved and wept because of our own sin at some point in our pilgrimage, we should stop and think about our repentance. If the sin of others living without God or walking away from Him doesn’t first grieve us, we must consider our compassion.

For many of us, when faced with the sin of others our first instinct is to shake our fist or wag our finger. But it’s our ongoing posture of repentance and compassion that keeps us from being judgmental and condemning. Yes, we know what sin is, and yes, we need to call it for what it is, but when our own spirit of humble repentance guides us, we can do so in constructive—not destructive—ways.

We realize, left to ourselves, we’re all flaming in sin of one kind or another. So before we think about all the things we want to change about this world, we soberly consider what God wants to change in us.

There’s nothing wrong with helping others remove the unhealthy and irritating specks from their eyes, so long as we don’t forget that we ourselves are plank-eyed and equally needful (Matthew 7:3-5 and Luke 6:41-42).

This is the Resistance, and we are pilgrims who join in it by humbly living holy lives.