Within the domain of Earth sciences there is the branch dedicated to the study of the Earth’s soil and underlying rock composition, and the changing processes they undergo, known as Geology. In particular, many geologists specialize in studying certain aspects of plate tectonics, the huge, moving sheets of Earth’s crust. One such aspect is that of the geologic fault, a fracture or discontinuity in the body of rock caused by mass movement of tectonic forces; for all intents and purposes, a fault is a very large crack in the Earth’s crust.
Scientists who study these fractured crevices seek a better understanding of what causes Earthquakes in the hopes of developing means to predict or, even, prevent them. These Earth specialists are fault finders and it is their job to find the place from where we might expect the next big “shake-up”. But while a host of these experts is probing the crust and depths of the Earth at any given time, there are just as many ardent fault finders scrutinizing hearts within the church. They are authorities on the identification and public disclosure of potential points of diminished strength, locations of stress, and areas of added pressure; more often than not, their expertise is actually the cause of the “tremors” in the peace of the church to begin with.
The fault finders of the church are always on the lookout for people, discussions, and events surrounding high pressure subjects. They search diligently for areas of strain, tension, and difficulty in the “thin skin” of others. True to their craft and eager for recognition, fault finders are keen to publish their findings of the faults of others to any ear that will lend them an audience. Naturally, internal forces burst through at the weakest point of resistance. Many have not been strengthened in the bed rock of the chief cornerstone, Jesus Christ, and, as such, their foundation is weak, ready to give way to the pressure of life at any moment.
Ephesians 2:20 (KJV)
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Pestering forces of life continually seek to come to the surface in the form of untamed emotions, unchecked verbal outbursts, and unrestrained vulnerabilities of thought. Eager to alert all members in the vicinity, the fault finder is quick to notify as many as possible of the faults they have found in the lives of fellow constituents.
The fault finders of the church are quick to identify the weak points of others but never quite seem to have the same level of thoroughness in the analysis of their own doings. Not unlike the the Pharisees in the days of Jesus, fault finders are expert in recognizing fractures, breaks, and cracks in the “crust” of others’ personalities while cleverly ignoring, or sweeping under the rug, the chinks in their own armor. Fault finders are the ones who spot he splinter but miss the log (Matt. 7:3)
Matthew 7:3 (KJV)
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Fault finders today are no different than they were two thousand years ago. They are out in number, searching, listening for rumblings, just waiting for spiritual and emotional fissures to break forth in the lives of their brothers and sisters. They will gladly make known the frailties, mistakes, and errors of others while grossly miscalculating their own strength and benefit they add to the church. Fault finders are at ease in pointing out the tiniest misstep in the standards of others, are meticulous about showcasing the minutia of outward Holiness, but ignore the “weightier” matters of justice, mercy, and faith.
Matthew 23:23 (KJV)
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
If you find yourself being sized up by a fault finder, do not be tricked into believing you alone are at fault; remember that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.
Romans 3:23 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
If you find yourself being measured, judged, weighed in the balance, assessed, and examined by the fine-toothed comb of a fault finder, remember; any who says they have no “fault” is deceived, lying to themselves.
1 John 1:8 (KJV)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Never forget; no one is completely impervious. Only One is unshakable. Only One Rock is unbreakable. His Name is Jesus. For the rest of us, fractures are inevitable. For humanity, cracks, splits, fissures, and faults in our thoughts, patterns of behavior, and words are ultimately unavoidable. Don’t let the fault finer fool you; they’re just as “cracked” as everyone else. But if the pressure is breaking forth, if there is indeed a “fault” line formed in you, the fix will not be it’s identification by another broken stone; it will be in the hands of the Master Builder, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 147:1-3 (KJV)
1 Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.