We all like to think of ourselves as good people. We do good things; nice things usually for people we like or love. It makes us feel good and good about ourselves. I mean we are definitely better then that neighbor who screams at people, better then the thief that’s in jail and way better then a murderer… we could never kill someone.
God gave us the Ten Commandments to help us see ourselves the way He does… as sinners. If you are like me, at one point in your life you’ve gone though that list of Commandments and half-heartedly acknowledged you are guilty of… most of them. Lying, yes I’ve done that… Stealing, yes I’ve taken a cookie when I wasn’t suppose to… Taking the Lord’s name in Vain, yes it’s happened… Lust, Covet, Keep the Sabbath holy, Honor my parents, No other gods… okay, okay so I’ve failed at those. Thou shalt not murder. I could proudly say I had not broken this commandment, not even the technical aspect. I had not hated anyone. Highly disliked, but not hated… I wasn’t a monster after all.
Filled with pride at this realization I patted myself on the back. Lord thank you for the Ten Commandments, but I found one I haven’t failed at. I’m definitely better than all those sorry people that have hatred in their hearts.
Then there is that pesky little verse in James 2:10; “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it”. We’ll just ignore that verse for now it doesn’t really suit my self-righteous attitude and feeling good about myself.
Let me warn you the Pride before the Fall thing… that is so true! My fall was coming quickly and it was brutal. I developed hatred for someone close to me. That hatred grew, taking a strong root in my life. It affected my spiritual health, my mental health and my physical health. When confronted by a fellow believer about this issue I finally slowly began to address it. It was hard but I started praying for that person and over time the Lord changed my heart. In time forgiveness and restoration was granted, which I’m truly grateful for.
What I realized in the process… I was expecting perfection from others. They couldn’t mess up; do the wrong thing, they weren’t supposed to sin. I of course knew I was sinning daily and definitely wanted God’s forgiveness. I mean I’m not perfect; I’m going to do the wrong thing. I had a double standard. I wanted forgiven for sins, but I was unwilling to forgive others that sinned. FYI all human beings are sinners! No one is perfect… we will always have parents that sin, children that sin, marry people that sin, vote for people that sin. You in fact are a sinner!
The Lord does not denote for us different levels of sin. Yes, some sins have more severe earthly consequences for sure. Some sins are more grievous in our eyes, more despicable. But to God every sin is an attack on His Holiness. Every sin deserves justice. One sin equals eternity in Hell. You and I are no better than anyone else; we are all guilty. Harsh truth… you are no better than that screaming neighbor, no better than that thief, no better than that murderer and no better than any other human being.
Praise the Lord for salvation through Jesus Christ! God does not ask us to compare ourselves to other humans; He wants us to compare ourselves to the Ten Commandments. In doing so we should rush to Him for the help and hope He alone can give us.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17