If you’ve been paying attention to the news the last six weeks, you’re probably aware of the highly-publicized, embarrassing circumstances involving Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, San Francisco Giants manager, Larry Baer, and popular actress, Lori Loughlin (photos above). We don’t need to get into the details here, but suffice it to say these people made some very poor decisions, which led to consequences that the national media was more than happy to pounce on.
My knee-jerk reaction to those reports was, “Wow! These are obviously some very intelligent folks. How could they have done something so stupid and so damaging to themselves and their reputations?”
These news stories remind us that we’re all sinners, just as God’s Word says. The veneer we present to the public looks pretty good (most of the time), but behind closed doors and deep in our hearts and in the recesses of our minds is some real wickedness.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
The public is prone to venerate and envy people who are successful entrepreneurs, administrators, and entertainment celebrities, but, because of their wealth, those people have even greater opportunities and temptations to sin than the rest of us. In the flesh, I’m tempted to quietly celebrate when high-profile, wealthy folks “get caught up” in some messy scandal. I’m tempted to think I’m somehow better than those people and others like them who have been exposed in their sin. It makes me feel better, as if I’m morally superior. But the truth is, I’m just a sinner saved by the grace of God solely through faith in Jesus Christ. I’ve behaved similarly in my thoughts if not in deed EVEN AS A BELIEVER. I’m grateful to my Savior for saving a wretch like me. He gives me the grace to follow Him and picks me up when I inevitably fail.
It’s tempting for us believers to become “morality snobs” and place ourselves above THOSE sinners, when in reality, our ONLY plea is our Savior, Jesus Christ.
“9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14