We sat there chatting. She was telling me about her job at the local casino. She asked me if I ever go there? I paused for only a moment and then said, “No, I don’t gamble.” She continued on to tell me that it is not necessary to enjoy gambling to go there. The casino has a live band each weekend and of course, there is a bar there. I hesitantly informed her that I don’t drink or dance, so that probably wouldn’t be a good fit for me. She laughed and said, “Oh, so you’re a good lady.”
I almost laughed outright. Me? Good? No, not so much.
And right there and then, God gave me the opportunity to share what He has done in my life. I told her that I am a sinner just like anybody else, but that He has saved me and that it is my honor and duty to please Him with my activities. (I am not sure it was quite that concisely or smoothly, as my heart was beating fiercely as I spoke!)
She changed the subject.
I thanked the Lord for the chance to perhaps plant a seed.
But it got me thinking about how there is this thought among a lot of people that if you do certain things you are “good” and if you do other things you are “bad”.
Let’s be honest, we are all sinners. It is about our heart and the motive behind our actions. Sin comes in many ways besides the most obvious. We can have sins that occur only in our minds– selfish, angry thoughts; envious, jealous thoughts; hateful, bitter thoughts. No one sees, but we are still sinning. We can have the most awesome accomplishments in the world, done out of purely selfish motives, and we are still sinning.
And so, I hope as you read blogs and best sellers, you don’t idolize the author. And as you listen to preachers or radio broadcasts that you don’t idolize the speaker. They are a human sinner, just as we all are. Our goal should be to be like Jesus. And the only way to truly understand Jesus is to read and know God’s Word. Only then we will truly get that Jesus was the perfect example of balancing Truth and love, that Jesus predicted we would be hated by the world, and that Jesus encouraged us to love God and others above self. He taught us to live sacrificial lives and to put God’s Will as our primary priority. And this is just scratching the surface. There is so much in the Bible that shows us how to be Christlike in our attitudes and our behavior.
It is important that we don’t idolize human beings. Oh, it’s good to find mentors and godly men and women to respect. But don’t make them your ultimate model, so that if they fail, you are crushed and all trust in God is destroyed. That is never healthy.
Jesus is our ultimate model–the Jesus of the Bible. The world and even the modern-day church has created a “Jesus” to meet their own selfish, worldly desires. Let’s know the Jesus of the Bible, so that we can grow a little bit more like Him each day!