“For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10
Why do I consistently place the opinions of others in higher esteem than God’s truth? When confronted with gossip, accusations and whispered remarks, my strength should be rooted in the word of God, rather than my own fleeting feelings of self-worth and self-righteousness. I’m quick to leap to my own defense, instead of resting in the promise that God will fight for me, that I need only be still. (Exodus 14:14)
Upon closer examination, maybe I should value being despised and rejected. After all, God has an obvious habit of using folks with serious problems. People with issues…otherwise known as everyone.
God isn’t picky because my sin isn’t better or worse than yours. My opening verse is a favorite from Awanas memory work. Guilty of breaking all of it. All of it? Yup. The whole kit-n-caboodle. Verses like that are so convicting and playfield-leveling.
We are all in the same sinking boat. Full of holes. Riddled with all those failures in our life that need God’s patching up. More often than not, I’m managing to poke three more holes in the boat as Jesus is helping me mend my latest gash. It sure seems like an effort in futility most of the time. I’m incredibly thankful the Lord doesn’t tire of the work. As long as I keep coming to Him with my errors, He’s on board.
Given my obvious flaws, the hangup I have isn’t in admitting they exist. It’s no secret I’m a daily work in progress…everyone can see that. I’m good discussing my actual issues. Mostly. But with so many deficits to choose from, it seems absurd for the wagging tongues to make any up. Therein lies my struggle.
I think if I could really grasp the concept of James 2:10, it would be far easier to let go of untruths spoken in haste, spite, or ignorance. I’m quick to accept my own faults, but refuse to be labeled with any I don’t “really” struggle with. Why? I am a liar, a thief, a glutton and a drunk. I am a hot-headed, cheating, insecure, violent, backstabbing whore. I am mean, obstinate and argumentative. Incredibly selfish. A jerk. A tyrant. A murderer. I’m guilty of breaking all of it. Every malevolent, malicious thing that could be said about me, I’m guilty of it…and more. No exceptions. No exclusions. That’s the ugly truth. Without Jesus, that is who I am.
Nobody wants to claim ugliness as their own. We want to be accepted by others. Inclusion in the good person club has become more valuable than gold. What is it worth, really? “Good person” compared to whom? According to the Lord, we all suck hardcore. We are awful. Equally the worst. Maybe that’s why God calls for us to be still. To allow Him to engage in the fight. He’s the only one who can be victorious anyway. If we enter the ring ourselves, what are we battling against? The debate is to defend our honor. Our reputation. To wrestle against conviction of the very thing we already are. Guilty. Of all of it. No argument can change the verdict. No challenge can overturn it. Only allowing God to pay the price for what we owe. All of it.