I have always been a pretty rules oriented person. I like the structure rules provide. I have always followed “the rules,” even when I didn’t agree with them. My wife and I used to fight about whether or not eating a grape from the grocery aisle at the store was breaking the rules. One guess which side I was on. Whenever she did it I would give her “the look.”
Although I wasn’t perfect by any means, it was actually a point of pride for me how good I was at following rules. I knew the Ten Commandments and I knew which ones I had broken and how many times. It wasn’t so very many it seemed.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew I was no saint but on the whole I figured I was a good person and generally without much in the way of sin. Funny thing is, that during most of this time, I wasn’t even a Christian.
In fact it was only after I accepted the the gift of salvation and began to study God’s word that I began to get a glimpse of just how short of the mark I was actually falling. Over time, that glimpse has expanded and what was once a point of pride has become a point of shame. I, my friends, am a sinner. I have and continue to fall short of God’s mark. It was only hubris that lead me to believe otherwise (another sin, by the way).
Over the course of my life my perception of who I was as a person was , to a great extent, defined by two things; being smart and being a person who “followed the rules.” As I get older my memory is no longer what it used to be and it is much harder to learn new things than it once was. Top that off with the realization that I was not so “good” after all and I have honestly felt myself to be a little lost. Who am I really when those things are taken away or found to be untrue?
A child of God. A man, sinful and broken, who finally sees the hubris that has blinded him his whole life. A man who finally realizes that he does need a savior, who can begin to appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made (for him) on the cross.
Thank you Lord…