She is never early. Always late. He cannot speak without using offensive or vulgar expressions. “I’M marching to a different drummer” is her excuse for breaking all the rules and acting selfishly. He only seems interested in hurting others, if he doesn’t get his way.
I’ve deliberately left out names. Because we all can fit into any of those statements but for the mercy and work of God in our hearts. In fact, even though we have come to Lord and asked for his saving grace, one of the greatest tricks of our enemy is to erase from our memory the place where we dwelt before God’s forgiveness entered our hearts and lives.
We’ve been told by the Lord, “Do this to remember me.” Often to the Church, Jesus is saying, “Remember me so you can be reminded of the point where you started. Remember where you were; and you still are a sinner. You need a Savior.”
My heart desires to reach out and slap some folks I know. They aren’t following the Lord up to my standards. Or they are giving to the point of hurting the people they want to bless. Their lives shout, “I need a Savior.” Yet, their eyes are blind to their own needs. They can see the fault of everyone around them. Nevertheless, they cannot see their own needs and sins.
Others are like me. We are born-again but we still walk through life succumbing to sinful desires. Or there are those of us who have become self-righteous looking through our salvation binoculars at everyone who does not know the Lord as their Savior. Carnal or baby Christians are an anathema to us. We cannot understand why they can’t get their lives together.
We understand God’s amazing grace in our lives but we want to customize the way God’s deals with others according to our plan and our dictates. We have forgotten our starting point. We’ve become self-righteous to the core.
Paul instructed the church to never forget from where we came. The Lord wants us to lead by example; not proclamation. Each year, Special Gathering ministry takes about 175 people who are intellectually disabled on a four-day retreat experience. In my first year at Camp Agape, one of the hardest things for me to learn as a new staff person was the principle of “leading by example.” I wanted to tell everyone what to do and where to do it.
The problem is that telling is much easier than leading by example. Nevertheless, God has given us an airtight way to overturn our self-righteous ways. “Remember where we came from.”
Image Crossroads (C) by www.martin-liebermann.de“.