I Know You Can See Through Me
It doesn’t take much for a “fault finder” who examines the deeds and speech of others to quickly produce “Exhibit A” of someone else’s failure. Many Christ-followers find it much more fulfilling to state the horrible behavior, vile habits of speech, and sinful life-style of “those people” than to come like the Publican in the Temple in Jesus’ story that beat on his chest and begged God to have mercy on him because he was a sinner.
The Apostle Paul was transparent about his own sin nature when he wrote Romans 7:14-25 (The Living Bible) – I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—what I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. 17 But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things.
18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. 19 When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 Now if I am doing what I don’t want to, it is plain where the trouble is: sin still has me in its evil grasp.
21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; 23-25 but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.
So, you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done] by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.
There are no “sinless” people. There are sinners without Christ and sinners who have been redeemed by Christ. The redeemed are still running because of sin, but now, they run “away from” it instead of “toward” it.
Jim Corley met his friend, Alex, at the
dealership where Alex worked.
“Jim, I feel like a hypocrite every time I go to church because I fail to live for Christ so often.”
“Alex, what do you call this part of the dealership?” Jim asked, nodding to the area outside his cubicle.
“You mean the showroom?” “Yes. And what’s behind the showroom, past the parts counter?
“The service department,” Alex said confidently.
“What if I told you I didn’t want to bring my car to the service department because it was running rough,” Jim asked.
“That would be crazy! That’s the whole point of service departments—to fix cars that aren’t running right.”
“You’re absolutely right,” Jim replied. “Now, let’s get back to our initial conversation. Instead of thinking of church as a showroom where image is everything, start thinking of it as God’s service department. Helping people get back in running order with God is what the church is all about.” (Source: Choice Contemporary Stories and Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, and Writers,Craig Brian Larson).