Last week I was talking with one of our volunteer leaders. We were talking about the appropriate response to different situations–in this case, people who are on Megan’s list (sex offenders). Every week we have at least ten people from Megan’s list at church functions, and of course we work hard to respond to them with love and at the same time makes sure no one else is in danger. As we talked, he got quiet and asked “How do you keep from becoming really angry or raging at them”?
The strange thing is I knew the answer to his question immediately.
Some time ago, I realized something about myself that was hard to take. I am not a good person. Oh sure, I can compare myself to others and come out looking better in my own eyes–but that requires that I ignore the basic fact that I have done something worse than a murderer, a thief, a liar, an extortionist–even worse than a pedophile has done. I sinned. Actually, more than once, but any one of them on its own was enough to make me the worst person in the world. Because that sin–that one sin–*any* sin–made it necessary for Jesus to be tortured to death.
I am personally responsible for the torture death of Jesus– God who became flesh–the best man to ever live. I am. What has anyone else done that can even compare with that evil? Nothing. I did the worst thing possible.
The more aware of this I am, the less I can look on anyone else with contempt, or anger, or lack of forgiveness. I can’t hate anyone, IF I remember who I really am. I can only be grateful for what Jesus has done for me.