Oct. 8, 2016

Living Proof of Dying Truth

 

There once was a man who tried to live like he should. Although he made mistakes, he started each day fresh and new believing that, when all was said and done, his life would count. He always believed he would come out in the end on the winning side.

When the man made mistakes, he found it easy to compare himself to others thinking, “Well, I am not as bad as that other guy! That other guy is much worse than me! In fact, I’m a pretty good guy.” With that, he went on his way.

Each time the man felt he failed at something, he compared himself to others feeling really good about all that he had accomplished and believing himself to be a “good man.” The man would not allow himself to get down or feel down or look down on himself. After all, he was a good man compared to all those others.

The man went through his life feeling quite accomplished and feeling better than those around him. After all, he was a very good man when you compared his life to all those really bad people. When the man was feeling a little low, he’d call up a friend and ask the friend, “Am I a good man?”  The friend would always reply, “You are much better than that other guy! That other guy is really a bad guy compared to you!”

The man lived his life believing he was really, truly a very good man.

When the man died, he found himself standing before God. As God began to look into the Book of Life, the man became very uncomfortable. God would read awhile and then look up catching the man’s eye. The man would explain, “I really am a good guy. Ask all of my friends! Ask anyone! When you look at me compared to others, you must admit I am really not that bad.”

God continued reading what was found in the Book of Life and continued making eye contact with the man. Soon the man just could not stand it any longer and he reasoned with God, “Lord, you must admit I did some really good things when I was alive. I tried to be a good person and, while I didn’t always succeed, when you stack me up against others – I typically come out better than most.”

The man continued to make his case before God fervently believing he simply wasn’t that bad. The man continued to try and convince God reminding God about all the really bad things that were still occurring down on earth. The man reminded God of how bad some of his neighbors were and how mean some of his friends could be to others.

The man explained to God, “I realize I wasn’t perfect, but who was? Who is?  I mean, seriously, is anyone perfect?”

God replied, “Christ was. Christ is. Christ continues to be.”

The man argued with God saying, “Well, of course Jesus is perfect, but I’m not Jesus. Surely you don’t plan on comparing me to Jesus! That isn’t fair. Compare me to all these other guys! If you are willing to look at me compared to others, you will have to admit that I really am not that bad.”

As the man rambled trying to explain himself and justify his actions, God stop the man and asked, “Son, look around you. Who do you see? Where are all of these other men you keep referring to? If you open your eyes, you will realize – there is just you and Me.”

The man could no longer use the behavior of others to justify his own bad choices. It was time to face the music. By himself. On his own.

The man didn’t live the Truth. He did, however, die in it.

Isaiah 28:17, I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.”