I’m on the go, but look to Psalms 14 or Romans 3 — the crux of the Bible is that we are worse than we’re worse than we think but more loved than we can imagine. Look at some of the Bible’s characters, even Jesus-followers: Paul was a self-righteous murderer, Peter was a racist.

“All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” — Romans‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭ESV‬

It is a more Calvinist view, but I’ll share this anecdote: I had a discussion with a Christian camp counselor over whether homosexuality was a sin. I said no. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention it is. He eventually came to the conclusion that “you’re right, temptation is temptation.” And even if someone else sins, so what? Jesus told us to put out the log in our own eyes before we can take out the log in other people’s eyes. I am no big fan of Joshua Harris’s purity culture for that reason either, and that was the reason I strayed so far away from Christ and the church. Jesus spent the entirety of Matthew 6 eviscerating the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self-righteousness, and Paul tells us in Phillipians 3:6–7 of his own self-righteousness and subsequent conversion:

Paul was “as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.”

‭‭So God uses very flawed people, like ourselves, for His good. I believe that entirely. Looking at your own sin is not limiting but freeing — who are we to judge other people for their sin? That allows us greater empathy rather than less of it if we can reduce how we view ourselves relative to others.

Written by

Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire,” God’s gift to the Earth. E-mail: ryanfan17@gmail.com

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