I like Jesus and I like Him a lot. Why He wants to hang out with an old, tired, cynical, worn-out pastor is beyond me. Besides the blonde (aka the wife) He is the best friend I’ve got and sometimes He is the only friend I’ve got besides the blonde. I believe it to be an occupational hazard that pastors have the innate ability to make people mad. We don’t mean to, it just happens so please forgive us. My point is we need Jesus as a BFF.
The Pharisee in me says I’m not that bad. I’ve told you I don’t drink. I don’t cuss and I love my wife but sometimes I still do things that don’t make Jesus happy … I also gotta tell you every time I go prodigal Jesus is always there waiting for me and He always tells me to come and warm my hands by the fire. When this happens I’m embarrassed, I’m mad at myself and for the most part, I promise to never do whatever it was again … this is typically when Jesus rolls His eyes and tells me that it’s not okay to sin but He died for this kind of stuff and that He loves me.
The Apostle Paul who is probably the best Christian I know said he did not understand his own actions. He wrote the good he wanted to do he did not do and the evil he hated he kept doing (Romans 7). I think we can relate.
So, pastor, all of this is depressing, what do we do? I’m glad you asked. What if we stopped trying to get better on our own (sin less) … the temptation to touch the bench with the “Wet Paint” sign seems to be way too much ... sinning less is obviously good but what if we loved more. I read somewhere that loving God and loving people was a good thing (Mark 12). If we practiced that maybe we would automatically sin less and then we would get better, if that makes sense?
We need to replace the inaction (not sinning) with action (love). John captured this idea in 1st John 3:9 & 18, stop sinning but practice love, not in talk but in deed. What I'm saying is, if we were the ones that painted the bench we would already know it was wet. I don’t know about you but I am feeling better already!
Some of us grew up singing, “I need thee, oh I need thee, every hour I need thee” … it’s not that we needed Jesus, it’s that we need Jesus. We need Him to pick us up and dust us off and tell us to go and sin no more. We need Him to empower us to both, not sin and to love. He told me to tell you that.