There are things that are bad, and then there is Self-Righteousness. It’s a level beyond bad because it’s a self-deception that puts everything at risk. To be really pointed, self-righteousness is unhealthy for anyone’s eternity
I have spoken to people who find it hard to talk about God, judgment and acceptance in the same sentence. Some have told me they feel that God accepts everyone so the church should never preach about judgment and get so picky about some sins over others. Others have told me they feel that God, in concept, is too judging, not accepting and completely unfair to mix the good people in with the bad.
It’s easy to start drifting because it’s hard to stay disciplined. Staying consistent with my Bible reading, praying, and thinking about others takes some work – drifting makes life easier. It’s almost enjoyable to drift because it can be like meandering down a slow moving river on an inner tube. Unfortunately, the result of drifting isn’t simply missing a deadline or giving up on a goal. Drifting can be so costly that we can deconstruct everything we’ve previously worked so hard to build – including our friendship with God.
Here’s a question I bump into more frequently these days: “Why does the church preach about sin at all? Why not just preach love and acceptance and forgiveness?” Well, the easy answer is that the church does preach about love and acceptance and forgiveness often. However, we don’t understand love, acceptance and forgiveness until we understand the cross.
The Bible can make you, but it can also break you. It can be used to grow a healthy heart filled with love for God and others, and it can also be used to degenerate a heart by filling it with anger and feelings of hostility toward God and others. There is a lot riding on how a person chooses to use the Bible.
As my son and I walked side by side, leading the way ahead of the girls, Michelle (my wife) calls to me and says, “Wow, he acts like you, walks like you, and even looks like you from behind!” My son and I look at each other, shrug, and call back, “Of course!” I call him my Mini-Me for good reason. I’m not sure if he learns what I teach him, but he absolutely learns what he lives.
Another Sunday heading to church with the windscreen off and my speed climbing beyond 80 kph. I’m exhilarated as I feel myself forced against the backrest by the headwind. I can’t decide if I’m more passionate about getting to church or about my 2003 Harley Dyna Lowrider thundering over the road. As I’m in the moment, I’m going to guess that it’s the Harley that has captured my heart. But, like all moments, this moment fades too quickly.
As he walked away confused about me I stood in silence just as confused about him. He argued that if God was a God of love then God would love him regardless of lifestyle. I reasoned with him, “Friendships have conditions. If you’re acting like an enemy you’re not going to be considered a friend.” We chatted back and forth with a level of mutual respect, but never truly influencing each other.