it seemed to me a wearisome task...

Such are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.
For all day long I have been plagued,
and am punished every morning.

If I had said, "I will talk on in this way,"
I would have been untrue to the circle 
of your children.
But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I perceived their end.

Psalm 73: 12-17 New Revised Standard Version

Ah yes, so easy to be the victim when we look around and see how others are gaining traction and recognition in the world. I get the writer of this psalm!
Too often I think we as humans look at what others are doing, see their maliciousness, but fail to see our own contribution to the "ills" of the world. We look on and all we can say is "woe is me!" 

Jesus rarely sugarcoats anything. In Matthew 7:5, Jesus tells those who have gathered to hear his sermon on the mount, "You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye."

If there is anything the church does really well, it is hypocrisy. As members of Jesus' Holy church, we could all use a lesson in owning our misgivings so that we can grow into the likeness of Christ. We all struggle accepting that we aren't perfect, and I'll be the first to admit that I often fail to see my shortcomings. I'm great at being the victim, but I believe that's a part of our brokenness. It is who we are, but we must not become so obsessed with comparing our faults and imperfections as less than someone else's. Otherwise we fail to grow. 
For example, I may see that your way of communicating may not be effective, without first looking at my communication style. Am I a clear and concise communicator? Have I raised myself above you because I think your way is the wrong way? Or have I washed my hands of you and thought to myself, "in vain I continue on because you will always get the upper hand?" 

If I choose the latter option, then what I've done is become like the wicked the Psalmist speaks of. Of this, we must be mindful! None of us are any better than the other. When we become locked in thinking our wickedness is less wicked than those we envy or see as bad, then we perpetuate a system that continues to fail those who are oppressed and truly suffering.

When we enter into the sanctuary each Sunday morning, or whenever you may worship, we rededicate our lives to doing the work Christ has called us to. Otherwise, the whole thing becomes a wearisome task. 


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