“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.”Titus 3:3
My daughter Kate used to ask me several years ago to reveal stories of my childhood. She was not interested in my charitable contributions (few, if any) but she wanted to know about the bad stuff I did. I engaged her in some stories but was not willing to put myself fully on blast. She seemed to enjoy these stories, and I secretly thought she was trying to gather ideas for her own exploits.
I have come to know that she was cataloging these stories and was looking to use them as case law against me. When I go to correct Kate on an offense, she goes deep into the library of her mind and pulls out a prior offense I had committed as a child. The stories I shared with her were now being used against me. Kate’s correction was not avoided and punishment still ensued, but it gave me pause to the rotten scoundrel I can sometimes be. I have learned to consult with my attorney prior to answering Kate’s questions as she neglects to read me my Miranda Rights.
I think of the many times I was spiritually puffed up only for God to bring to mind the state I am truly in. I sometimes get too big for my spiritual britches and God’s Word reveals to me the filthiness of my heart and actions. I am reminded that I am a hater, foolish, disobedient and an outright filthy sinner. I often seek my own way, and I am deceived by the temporary pleasures of sin. God sometimes uses Kate’s vivid memory to remind me of my shortcomings and foolishness. I am thankful for a God who forgives and loves me perfectly. I am thankful He holds no grudges, and I am grateful for His open, welcoming arms. He is not waiting for me to mess up, but He is always ready to forgive. His Word reminds me of my sinfulness, and I must have patience with others as He has continued patience with me.
What about you friend? Do you get up on your spiritual soap box and proclaim to others your self-righteousness? Do you forget what manner of person you truly were – and sometimes still are? Do you forget your sinful condition without Christ and your forgiven condition in Him? Are you patient with others as God has been patient with you? Are you grateful for what God has done in your life? May we never forget what we have been saved from, and may we be quick to forgive others as we have been forgiven. Stay humble and keep your eyes on God and not on the shortcomings of others.