Thursday, August 7, 2014

Oh How Dumb We Are

I constantly amaze myself how dumb I can be. I can go along for an extended period strong and happy, serving Jesus and living the Christian life. Then a strange man in a minivan with tinted windows drives up and offers me candy. Ooh, candy, I think to myself. This sounds like something interesting. And I come to my senses awhile later and haven't a clue how I got to the place I find myself.

Let's be honest. Some people may read this and say, "What a hypocrite he is." But seriously, am I alone in this? Certainly not. Even the strongest Christian occasionally finds himself wondering how he could be so led astray. We fail. We make mistakes. Sometimes these are big mistakes. But big or small, each sin is bad. Each sin is enough to condemn a person to death.

When I think about people, I am always reminded of the VeggieTales episode "Dave and the Giant Pickle." Dave is tending the sheep. But the sheep have a special problem: they fall over. So Dave has to spend most of his time helping tipped-over sheep stand back up.

We are these tipped sheep. We can do amazing things, make great accomplishments, and do great things for society. But then we tip over. We do something so stupid it makes any reasonable person choke. Unfortunately, we are also the reasonable people, which extends the problem even further. We are flawed.

Now, we were not designed to be flawed. We were made by God to be perfect. But we were made with a choice: do what God wants or do what we want/ It was the simplest command: do not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Not very complicated. But Satan decided to very sneakily and slyly confuse Eve so she would do the opposite of what God wanted. It was really hard for him to do it, too. He told her, "God lied, eat the fruit." And she did. (Yes, folks, that was sarcasm.)

Funny how the lives of billions and trillions of people were wrecked by one person's silly mistake, and one very gullible husband's 'yes dear' moment. Thanks, Adam and Eve. I don't really have a lot of respect for you two.

So here we are, tipsy sheep. I see idiot drivers risking lives to get to work three minutes earlier. I see scared teenage girls desperately trying to figure out why she had to sleep with that guy and get pregnant. I see the occasional pastor being caught in some adulturous act that makes headline news. I see drunks and druggies sleeping on buses with no better thing to take them out of that endless cycle of pain. And I see me, being deceived by the same stupid lie over and over. I know better. I know what's good and bad. But I slip up. I fail, and I deserve eternal punishment for it. And honestly, I know you all know what I mean. It's not just me.

But I do know one thing: my God knew from before time began that I wouldn't have a fat chance to save myself. I can't cover for my one stupid mistake because another pops up not long after. He sent us the Law to show us that we can't do it ourselves. We can't keep all the commandments, even the simple list of ten everyone quotes. We can't do it ourselves.

Then God breaks through the barrier of our stupidity, obliterating sin and death and all of our errors, past and present, calling us to follow Him. Now we are His children. How did that happen? Why did that happen? What value does God see in me that is worth giving a second of His attention, let alone His very life? I don't see it.

Thankfully, God does. He loves me with a love that never fails, that puts up with my stupidity and tips me up every time I fall over. And He's promised that I am going to be made into a perfectly holy and whole person someday, into what I was originally planned to be. And this is something that He actually wants to do; He doesn't just do it because He has to. It blows my mind.

So if you are like me and occasionally screw up the world, take heart. You are not alone, and you have a Savior who wants to take your brokenness and make you into something worth more than the value of the world. You don't have to understand why He does, but He does. His love endures through our stupidity.

If you want to understand this better, do a study on the book of Romans. It'll rock your world.

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