Originally posted July 10, 2009
Being able to laugh at oneself is a gift. Unfortunately, I’m pretty gifted in this area and have a lifetime of great material to work from. As I reread my first post, I was amused at how my best intention of providing a little personal background quickly became a rant in which I “judged the judgers”. I’m tempted to delete the entry and start over, but perhaps I should just leave it there as a reminder.
But the problem gets worse. Within hours of posting that entry, I was out for dinner and drinks with my sales team. In no time I was holding court, spewing a little venom about those who had done me wrong recently. Why? What’s driving that sort of behavior? Dr. Phil would probably tell me that I’m getting some sort of payoff for it...and he’d be right. The payoff is driven by ego and self. It’s all about me. The spike in my own eye grows larger as I complain about the spec in someone else’s.
If we believe the things we profess to believe, shouldn’t we be focused on the great blessings He’s given us? Shouldn’t there be joy and blessing on our lips instead of venom and judgment? Shouldn’t our lives and behavior be better because of what we believe? I think the answer to these questions is Yes, but there’s good news!
Timothy Keller asserts the following in his wonderful book The Reason for God (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0525950494/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=2410306097&ref=pd_sl_1ztm13obk6_b):
"Christianity not only leads its members to believe people of other faiths have goodness and wisdom to offer, it also leads them to expect that many will live lives morally superior to their own. Most people in our culture believe that, if there is a God, we can relate to him and go to heaven through leading a good life. Let’s call this the “moral improvement” view. Christianity teaches the very opposite. In the Christian understanding, Jesus does not tell us how to live so we can merit salvation. Rather, he comes to forgive and save us through his life and death in our place. God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior."
Timothy Keller also asserts "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints." You don’t often find healthy people rushing to a hospital for service.
So my confession to you today is this: I acknowledge my need for a savior, I am thankful for what He has done for me, and I accept the grace and forgiveness that has been freely offered. Perhaps I can work on accepting others, regardless of their behavior, as I have been accepted.
Blessings my friends.