As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him. 4 While it’s daytime, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After he said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man’s eyes. 7 Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see. John 9:1-7, CEB
I know a number of Christians who say they take sin very seriously. I have one in particular in mind. When he says he takes sin very seriously, what it means is he talks a lot about what a great sinner he is and how he asks God very fervently to forgive him. All he talks about, pretty much, is his “sin” and how God has shown him “grace”. This is what it means to be serious.
But, as far as I can tell, this friend spends very little time trying to figure out what it might look like to truly allow God’s grace to take hold of his life. From what I’ve seen, he is routinely rude, if not downright disrespectful, to his wife and children. He was a lazy employee (we worked together) and often lied to our boss. He treated people like they didn’t matter. Frankly, the guy is a jerk. (Side note: this is my judgment and it is probably inappropriate to say so, but I can tell you I’m not alone in having this opinion. Our mutual friends pretty much agree.) Granted, faith is about a lot more than just relationships, it’s about trusting and following God as He carries out His plans, but don’t we learn a lot about our character (and our transformation) from how we treat people?
He’s not the only person I know like this, he just represents a group of people who think it’s important to sound like big, tough guys who “aren’t afraid” to talk about sin like those weak Christians out there. Well, they may not be afraid, but they do seem to be afraid to do something about it. They seem afraid of living the kind of gracious, merciful transformed lives where they allow God to penetrate every aspect of life. I can’t blame them. I’m afraid of committing to that too. How could I possibly live up to the standard of allowing God’s grace to take over everything?
More on this tomorrow.