Around the turn of the 20th century, the London Times put out a call to writers. They solicited essays in response to the question “What is wrong with the world?” to run in a series in the paper. Many great thinkers, scholars, writers, and preachers wrote in response to that prompt—but one short and simple answer stood above the stacks that came in before and after it.

Dear Sirs:

I am.

Sincerely yours,
G. K. Chesterton

I’m partial to Chesterton’s reply. It was probably the most helpful of the answers received that day. We can sit around and pontificate and try to solve all the world’s problems and list all the world’s woes, but ultimately, the only problem I can really deal with is mine.

It’s far easier to complain about what’s wrong with your spouse than to improve your share of your marriage. It’s easier to gripe about your kid’s teacher than it is to discipline your child enough so that he actually completes his homework. It’s more comfortable to count the sins of others and recall our own righteousness than it is to get our hands and hearts dirty in the business of cleaning our own lives.

Don’t take the easy way out. Be honest with yourself and with God. Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)