2011-11-17 - Worse Than Who
1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye were washed, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (NASB)
Who do we compare ourselves to?
A comment was made regarding a man who had been executed for capital murder saying, "At least I'm not like him." The statement had validity in the fact that the person making the comment had never planned and murdered another person. But does something ring wrong in the statement? It sounds a little prideful perhaps? It reminds me of the Pharisee praying that he was thankful that he was not like the "other people" (Luke 18:11).
I recently got new glasses. I'm still getting use to them but things appear sharper and clearer than they have for a little while. A comment that was returned to the opening statement, "I am. I'm a lot more like him than I am Jesus Christ." I can imagine a devastating silence followed where the truth had been driven home like a railroad spike under a sledge hammer. Suddenly it is easy to identify with the Tax Collector in Luke 18:13, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner." (NASB). That is clear vision seeing humbly.
Jesus came and died to free us from not just sin - not just specific actions, but the power of sin that affects us all. This fallen world reaches out to the old man who is counted as dead but still wars against us inside - telling us we deserve something better, or that's joke wasn't that bad, or ... a litany of other excuses. The fact of the matter is in our own strength we deserve eternal separation from God when we are forced to compare ourselves to is the perfection demanded by the law to enter Heaven. Then enter Christ Who redeems us from the slave market of sin that binds us. By His grace we are set free. Christ clothes us in His perfection so that we are acceptable to the Father. There is no other way.
For all the politicians, political activists, bosses, co-workers, neighbors or those "other people" we complain about, when was the last time you (or I) prayed for them? After we get done joining the Tax Collector in asking for God's mercy the people that we were better than could use the same mercy we have been freely given. Selah.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your undeserved mercy and grace. Help me humbly walk in that freedom. Remind me that You died for those other people too. Amen.
Grace & Peace,