Read Ezra 10:1-44
You don’t have to pay them to do it. Why, you don’t even have to ask them to do it. They do it naturally. They examine your life and recognize your weaknesses and sins.
Now, before you go on the defensive against “them,” you need to recognize that you too are one of “them.” You are one who has pretty well scoped out those around you. You have a decent feel for ways that they fall short. This ability and response are sometimes fueled by a righteous desire that God be honored and the person walk in holiness. But…and this is crazy…this critical spirit is sometimes motivated by a prideful desire to inwardly feel a bit better about ourselves. Right or wrong, most people have keen insight about the shortcomings of others.
What about recognizing our own? What about humbly acknowledging that we have our own shortcomings? What about confessing them to God? What about taking steps to deal appropriately with those?
That requires humility! And that is what the men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin exhibited. Many of them, you see, had married women from the surrounding nations. The pagan influence brought into their families threatened to dilute their commitment to Jehovah. Something had to change. Thankfully, the majority of the men owned their sin and allowed other spiritual leaders to help them take the right next steps. That required humility.
Do you possess that kind of humility? Are you able to take admonition from others? Are you willing to look in a mirror and recognize those areas that God wants to change? Are you one who readily owns mistakes? Are you one who is comfortable with words like, “God, I have sinned. Forgive me.”? Are you a person for whom phrases of apology easily and sincerely flow from your lips and are expressed to others?
Not all are able to do that! In fact, if you look at verse 15, you will see a handful of men who resisted the process of reconciliation outlined by others. They needed to humble themselves. Do you?