Shadow Boasting

22 04 2010

Installment 4 from my episode with the police…

I have been driving for 16 years and this was my fist speeding ticket. My wife, despite crying babies and crying herself  has never received mercy from a cop and received a ticket every time she was stopped. I have received mercy multiple times, just not this time. In our marriage I have proudly boasted to Jeni how proficient a driver I am and how careful I am implying that she was neither of those things because she had speeding tickets where I did not.

I boasted sincerely too.

It finally dawned on me, as a result of this ticket, that I was no better than she was. It is not as if I drive around ever mindful of the road signs and meticulously adjust my speeds accordingly. For a season in my life I did, but not recently. I let myself believe that the offense is to get caught, when the truth is that the offense is well… the offense.

If the speed limit is 35 and I drive 40 I am speeding regardless of if an officer pulls me over. Guilty.

I believe that many of us play the same game with God. We may be promiscuous but because no one is pregnant or STD’s haven’t been contracted we think we are living right. Interestingly enough, we will just as quickly ridicule the famous athlete who has multiple children via multiple women; selectively overlooking the fact that we are equally guilty. We will vent and wax moralistic about dishonest politicians while knowing full well that if our lives were as public as theirs we would prove as dishonest, if not more. We lie about our weight, age, and feelings. We say the politically correct thing even when we have to lie to do it. We lie about the reasons we are late, or when avoiding a difficult person. We lie like crazy… but often times we don’t get caught. So, we boast.

The Bible teaches us that we are all sinners, none of us is perfect. But this truth can make us uncomfortable, even if we are believers. We don’t like to be faced with our own imperfections. The idea of looking in the spiritual mirror and seeing our face covered with moral pimples is unsettling and we would rather not think about it. So, we boast in the shadows.

“I’m fine.”
“I’m a good person.”
“I’m not as bad as so-and-so.”

But deep down, we know. We know we are liars and that it’s wrong. We know that we covet and that it’s wrong. We know that we are judgemental and that it’s wrong. There is something in us that reminds us that it’s wrong even though we suppress it.

The Bible teaches that if will stop hiding and acknowledge our imperfection and inadequacy then God will forgive us and restore us through Jesus death on the cross. It’s the greatest story ever told. Perfection came down and died so that the imperfect can be redeemed. Once we stop boasting in the shadows and instead humbly walk into the light, then we can be free! Then we can boast in the Lord.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:8-9




2 responses

26 04 2010

Hopefully, more people will come to realize this and those that follow these principles will continue to realize the benefit and not give up.

Admitting our faults is difficult, especially for those that have them.

26 04 2010

SQ (“smirk quietly,” it is LOL’s less gregarious yet with a more sophisticated sense of humor cousin), It’s true that all those other people with faults will struggle with this one. We will just continue to show them the way 🙂

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