I had a pretty intense bout of road rage last night. I’m not usually given to such childishness, but I was tired, really didn’t feel well, was already mad about something else, and I felt justified. Poor Scott was in the car with me holding on for dear life while my Mustang was fighting with another. I felt justified in the heat of the moment. (If I’m going 85 in a 70 and you ride my bumper so close I can’t see your headlights, you’re liable to get brake-checked too.)
There I… was, minding my own business, breaking the law peacefully, when out of the shadows behind me came someone else breaking it way worse! In my high and mighty mind, the little blonde in the cliche red sports car behind me needed a lesson not to ride so close to me! After all, if I had to slam on my brakes, she would hit me! So, what did I do? Slammed on my brakes (just a little). After which there was a game of tag. I won’t give you the blow-by-blow, but let’s just say that I broke a few more laws. Not the least of which was the speeding law that I broke to a very much larger extent. It looked like a football game.
Why am I giving this confession? Well, because we play this game a lot. (At least I do.) I feel justified in my own sins because someone else is sinning way worse. It’s embarrassing to admit this all because I know better. I’ve been taught better. My father, especially, taught me to “heap burning coals on their heads.” He also would hold up one hand and count out five words to me: what – is – that – to – me? And of course, he would remind me that I had a gigantic plank protruding from my own eye…
It is easy as a Christian to get settled into the notion that we are “living right.” After all, we have read our Bibles, we give of our time, talents, and money, we go to church, we pray for others, we are kind and loving, and we follow the Ten Commandments along with a few other tenets of our faith (somewhat). It’s easy to forget that we are also huge sinners. We look all pretty on the outside because we want people to have the “right” idea of a Christian. But the truth is, we know better. We’ve been taught better. We also judge, gossip, lie, cheat, break laws, and a myriad of other things.
Jesus taught us to mind our own business and not try to “teach someone else a lesson.” He warned us of this self-righteousness. He lived it out when He told the woman at the well to simply, “Go, and sin no more.” Could He have made a spectacle of her and “taught her a lesson?” Sure. And HE would have had the right because He didn’t have His own sins to deal with, plus, He is God.
Ouch. There goes the pride I shouldn’t have being hurt. I have a lot to be sorry for. Looking back on any given day leads me to a lengthy list of wrong-doing. Back to the drawing board…
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”
Guest Author: Rebecka Michael