Imagine an article titled "Sin in Hollywood" or "Sin in Washington" in our daily news. How would we react? Will we sit in the seat of judgment? Will we gleefully indulge in the juicy sins of others? Will we think how terrible those folks are and how much better we are than them? Will we self-righteously point the finger of accusation? Will we allow the gossip to lull us into a false sense of denial that we are in any way tainted with the same sins?
That's the stuff of journalism. If we were not guilty of pointing the finger at others' sins, far fewer news stories would be told. If it were not for our proclivity to accuse and revel in the weaknesses of others and somehow distance ourselves from the same corruption, then newspaper publishers may not have as much material. It is that sense of self-righteousness in all of us that makes us think that we could run Washington better or produce much more wholesome movies and still make a profit. We all live in a state of denial that we too harbor the same drives and lusts that occasionally get out of control and make headlines.
Do we realize that when we point the finger of accusation, we are also accusing ourselves? Do we realize that when we pass judgment on others we are also judging ourselves? Do we realize that when we point a finger of blame, then we have three pointing back at us and one thumb pointing upwards to blame God for allowing it? Do we forget that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God?
What we fail to realize is that the failings which make headlines in the daily news are our common failings. When we point out a racially insensitive comment, or a sexual failure, or a marital infidelity, or a financial corruption be it in politics, corporate life or among the national idols of entertainment, we are merely pointing out weaknesses that we also have. As Jesus explained in the Sermon the Mount if we have thought it, it's the same as if we have done it. The Ten Commandments are not the goal of a Christian life, but a list of all our failures. We have all broken every last one of them, if not in deed, certainly in attitude because lust is the same as adultery, hatred and verbal abuse are the same as murder, and so on.
So, next time we read of a priest, or politician, or national idol, or industrialist who commits a gross sin, let's not revel in accusation and slander. Let us realize that we are all guilty and therefore have no room to judge. Let us repent collectively of the sin which besets us all.