I watched the news tonight. I probably shouldn’t have done that, but how else am I to feel superior to all the worldlings’ bad behavior? Okay, so I’m not a heavy-duty political commentarian. Or even lightweight. But once in awhile, something is just so obvious I simply must open my computer mouth and impose myself upon the blogosphere. So fasten your seatbelt.
I watched two news stories, back to back. The first had to do with a certain overseas nation who threatens bad things upon gay Olympians. And a particular American Olympian retorted that he might have to take protective precautions, but happily maintained, “I’m just going to be me, the fantastic [sportsman] that I am.”
The other story was about an incarcerated kidnapper of young women, now on trial. He claims that “I’m not a monster, I’m just sick.”
One person totally ignores and disputes his sin by justifying and glorifying himself. The other knows he’s sick, but only halfway, and he uses it to garner sympathy. Basically, both of them are saying, “I can’t help it, it’s someone else’s fault, give me a break, let me off the hook.”
Here’s where it’s easy to be a Pharisee (Luke 18:11) and thank God that I’m not like them. And yet — how many times have I justified myself before God? How many times have I convinced myself that I’m just dandy and loveable the way I am, and that God didn’t really mean what He said in His word, because I’m having a great time in my “un-sin”? Or how many times have I acknowledged that I’m sick, depraved, and yet I’m not repentant, because I can’t help how I am? It was only to get sympathy from God, and I wanted Him to feel sorry for me.
Lord, please insinuate Yourself into my heart, daily. Cause me not to be a Pharisee when I hear of other people whom I deem worse than me. I know that, indeed, I can be, and am, just as bad, if not worse, and that I have no excuse. Please cause me to recognize sin as sin, that it grieves You, and cause me to be repentant before You. This is why Your Son died on the Cross and purchased my redemption, why He took my filthy rags on Himself, and lovingly draped His righteousness around me. It’s not about who I think I am — it’s all about Who You are, and how You are changing me day to day, to be more like You. I praise You Lord for Your infinite mercy.