Why are we so reluctant to admit our wrongs before God? Because we want to judge and condemn others. We desire to tell everyone else what to do, how to live their lives, but we are unwilling to follow our own guidance. We delude our selves into believing that if we promote righteous behavior in others through our advice and telling them God will judge evil actions (which we specify) we are somehow earning a right standing with God. Perhaps we believe such attitudes mean we are “on His team.”
The truth is that we are most sensitive to those sins we practice. The greedy are the first to accuse others of greed because they recognize the signs from their own heart. It is much like being a parent and finally realizing (as our spouse realized long ago) that we fight the worst with a particular child because we are so much alike. In this passage Paul reminds us that we do in our own lives the very things we most stridently speak against in the lives of others. It is far better to humbly acknowledge our own weakness. We will never be justified before God by our big public positions.