11 November 2007

"...of whom I am the worst."

Romans 2

We teach best that which we need learn most.

In other words, this lesson is for my own benefit.

I like to judge others. when somebody asks me how my day is without waiting for a response, I judge them. When somebody spends money on something they don't need, or often times, don't even want, I judge them. And let me say this - over the past nineteen years, I've gotten very, very good at it. College classes have made sure of that. Now, I can not only judge the person, but classify them into cultural subsets and judge those as well. I can rant against consumerism, Hollywood, urban culture, suburban culture, mass production, and the newly-coined term affluenza. Like the prayer of the Pharisee, I thank God that I am not like those who give into their commercial identity.

Meanwhile, my book and CD collections continue to grow and I search for clothing that proclaims that I am not like the rest of the world.

Paul was talking to me.
Or rather, I think, Paul was talking to himself. Paul tells his follower Timothy, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst." This is the same Paul who authored the majority of the New Testament and is considered to be the third most influential person in history (last list I saw placed him just behind Jesus and Muhammad, but that was four years ago).

Like Paul, we are all sinners. Worse yet, we all try to take the place of the Judge, the very person we claim to follow. And yet, we, along with the rest of the world, are called to be followers of the Risen Lord.

What then, shall we do? We take Martin Luther's advice. We sin boldly. We admit that we are sinners and drop our false pretenses. But we believe in Christ more boldly still.

Rock on.