Monday, October 30, 2017
Consider for a moment the people that we celebrate in sports, politics, entertainment, business and even in the pulpit. Are they not people that are accomplished, polished, witty, the best at what they do, the most beautiful, eloquent and articulate of all mankind!
But then I think of the ones that touched God’s heart—the ones that HE celebrated. Isaiah, a godly man of integrity and passion for the Lord, cried out when He saw a vision of God: Woe to me!…..I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Why this humility? Why did fear grip his heart?
In the gospels Jesus spoke about the lowest of the low—a tax collector and a. Pharisee. The tax collector and the very religious fellow went to the temple to pray. “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.’ Jesus said that the TAX COLLECTOR, a man despised for his vocation, left the temple justified because of his repentance, remorse and humility.
In my work at our camp I realize that there are primarily two types of people: those that blame others and those that blame themselves. There are those that constantly hide behind excuses…and those who offer up no excuses. There are those that point the finger at the faults of others…… and those that never stoop to self-pity. As you can imagine, one of these types are difficult to work and live with, while the other type are an inspiration and breathe of fresh air!
But what am I? Do I blame others for my lazy behavior and ill-advised decisions? Do I admit my own shortcomings (before others are tempted to point them out!), or do I carefully orchestrate the situation to make me appear the hapless victim? It’s so easy to make myself an innocent prey for all my hardships, but all so humbling to acknowledge that I am what is wrong in my business, ministry or relationship.
Isaiah knew that He stood before God with no excuse for his sin, association with others that sinned, etc. Likewise the tax collector knew that arguing about how it was not his fault for being a corrupt tax collector would go nowhere with an omniscient heavenly Father. So they both did a very wise thing: They admitted that their mistakes and errors were their own fault and not the fault of someone else. God takes delight in this—-I can see why. Nobody—-particularly God—-likes a whiner or coward. It takes courage to accept the blame and admit that you deserve to be held accountable.
Aren’t we blessed to worship a God that rewards such an heart with forgiveness and restoration?