There’s an old phrase that speaks of “excusing the sins we’re most inclined to, while condemning those we’ve no mind to.” I was reminded of it recently when I read a survey in which people were asked to indicate who they thought was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to go to heaven.

An athlete known for his outrageous behavior rated a 28% chance. Four national politicians hovered around the 50% mark. A popular TV talk-show host received a 66% vote. But in the highest rating of all, 87% of the people surveyed believed they themselves would go to heaven!

The standards we have for ourselves are rarely as strict as those we hold for others. They allow us to denounce a drug addict while we remain gossips. In reality, without Christ no one is good enough to go to heaven.

After praying that God would judge His enemies, the psalmist turned the spotlight on himself: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24).

It’s not wrong to stand against sin wherever it occurs. But it’s a tragic mockery of God’s grace to judge others harshly while being lenient on ourselves.