A few days ago I posted on Facebook an accusatory single sentence directed at a celebrity whose name I shall refrain from repeating here. I wrote the post at night, in a fit of outrage after hearing a news report of the celebrity’s supposed misdeeds, then went to bed. Early the next morning I had a dream. In it, I opened my mouth to speak the exact words I had written in my Facebook post, but instead of those words coming out of my mouth, these words came out instead:
“God, I thank you that I am not like other people….” (Luke 18:11).
I immediately woke up, went to my computer and erased the Facebook post. I have no idea how many people read it, hopefully no one, though I suspect a few did. To those few, I apologize. You saw me at my worst, and that is an ugly picture.
I am at my worst when I raise my nose on high, insisting that I am “better.” When I act as if – due to my spotless character – God passed the mantle of judgment to me. When I forget to look into the mirror and see myself as I really am. For while I am fearfully and wonderfully made, endowed as we all are with gifts and talents, the seed of sin is embedded in my DNA and in truth I am a spiritual and moral pauper. As Jesus stated, “No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19).
We all sin and fall short of God’s glory…the glory by which and for which we were created.
The only wholly good person who walked the earth was God in the flesh, Jesus, making Him the only rightful judge of the human race. While alive in the flesh, Jesus showed genuine love and compassion for everyone he met except for those who were in a position of authority as God’s representatives (the Pharisees and their pals), who relished passing judgment on others. For these folks, Jesus had nothing but scathing words (or sometimes no words at all).
Where does that leave me? By God’s great mercy and grace I have been invited (as we all are!) to enter God’s Kingdom. My responsibility is to humbly live out the love Jesus has extended to me, and pass that love on to others so that they may see an inkling of God’s Kingdom in me, and desire it as well.