Oops, maybe I should have whispered that last sentence. It’s easier to bear when said in a whisper. Then maybe no one else will hear.
Okay – so I’m going to whisper the rest of this because it might be a little too hard to hear in a big voice.
We’re not perfect.
Yeah, yeah, I know you would admit to it, but do you believe it? Sometimes I don’t. I either kick myself so hard when I fall that I can’t stand for a week, OR (and more likely) I pretend I wasn’t wrong. I never admit to it. I ignore the little gnawing at the base of my heart and push it off as not taking my B-12s, when the truth is…I was wrong.
Pulling shark teeth would be easier than trying to get my 17-year old to admit when he’s wrong. Whew. Pride the size of Jonah’s whale, but…his mom has the same problem. In fact, most of us do.
We blame our day, or our health, our finances, or in-laws…our children, or spouse, our education, or background…whatever it takes to keep the little finger from pointing backwards and finding our chests. Not me.
It’s hard…I don’t like it – but who does?
When we hold onto pride, one of the ugliest things happens. We place ourselves above our humanity and make little idols of our own hearts. Then, we compare our goodness to others’ badness and forget the basic element of grace…
Jesus didn’t come for perfect people. In fact, if we looked at the list of people Jesus hung around with most, you wouldn’t find a perfect person among the entire bunch. Most would have scoffed at the notion of being called ‘perfect’ or even close.
A woman caught in adultery, a hotheaded disciple, a traitor-tax collector, a theif…a bunch of cowards and…sinners.
That’s the point!
One thing they all had in common was they were sinners, and they knew it. In fact, when Jesus sat down at ATE with some of those imperfect people, the religious leaders started whispering about him (and not in a nice way either).
The story goes like this in Matthew 9:10-12
10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?”
12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”