Friday, June 10, 2011

There But for the Grace of God Go I....

While I've been entrenched in the best ways to pack up a school classroom, and a three-bedroom house; how to find jobs, and make a cross-country move, Congress has been in an uproar over the escapades of Rep. Anthony Weiner. I had a very encouraging conversation with my partner teacher over this tragic national news story today, while dusting bookcases, and turning in room keys.

What is it that draws us to the TV gossip? What lights our fires and gets us talking? Too often, it is the sin and downfall of others, whether unbeliever, or fellow saint. I know, because I fall into this category far too often. How easy is it to point a finger, rather than to lift up a prayer? Monique, my partner teacher this year, was relating to me a radio conversation, from Christian conglomerate, K-LOVE. I was so happy to hear of their grace-based spin on this sad failure, from a public man, husband to a pregnant wife. She told me that instead of pointing the finger at Weiner, the individual on K-LOVE chose to point to his own sin, and how we all can so easily fall from our ivory towers and pristine resumes.

I immediately thought of the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, from Luke 18:

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I, for one, will be quicker to look at my own sin, rather than another's, after this conversation today. I have hated, therefore I have killed, my Bible says...I have had lustful thoughts, therefore I have committed adultery. I hope that Rep. Weiner's heart has been humbled, and that somewhere, a Gospel-centered, Grace-based church community will open up their arms to a fellow sinner. There but for the grace of God go we all...

Help us Lord, to see our sin more than we see the sin of our brothers and sisters. Change us, and make us more and more like You. Amen.

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