Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.”┬áMark 7:1, 2

The Pharisees are well known for their criticism of Jesus. They saw that some of the disciples were eating without properly washing their hands; immediately, they made an issue of it. It did not matter to them that our Lord was healing the sick and helping the hurting. They did not care that He was restoring the fallen and giving hope to the weary. They only cared that Jesus did not follow the tradition of the elders. The Bible says that, “they found fault.” How could it be that, with all the miraculous and wonderful things that were occurring, they found something to be negative about? One of the reasons they found fault is because that is what they were looking for. They were not focused on the blessings or the good things, but were only interested in finding something to criticize.

What are we looking for in life? Are we looking for positive things or negative things? Which are easier for us to see? Is most of our time spent dwelling on the good that we notice or the bad that we find? Obviously, someone who finds fault with Jesus has a serious problem, for Jesus does all things well. This shows us how serious a negative attitude can be. If a person can find fault with Jesus, he will certainly find plenty of fault with us. This can be a problem for any of us. That same kind of critical or fault-finding spirit can be found in all.

In our sinful world, wrong can always be seen. We are all human. We all make mistakes and our sins must be dealt with. It is wrong to ignore sin. We should not be so positive-minded that we are blind to error. However, while we need to be aware of sin so that it can be corrected, we must not fall into the snare of looking for faults so that we can criticize or condemn. When people are continually looking for faults, they will surely find them. In the same way, when people are looking for good things, they will find them plenteous.

Life is too short to focus on the negative. Many churches have been damaged by those with the same spirit as the Pharisees. If faults are what we are looking for, we will find them. But who wants to always focus on the negative when there are so many positive things to appreciate?