Wednesday, November 16, 2011
What to do? What to do? What to do? Yesterday I purchased some fresh vegetables and when I got home I discovered that I had not paid enough for one of them. (Yes, one… I am single, so I think small.) It was a sweet potato which had been rung up as a russet potato, which had been selling at fewer cents per pound. Sigh. What to do?
The argument could be made that “it was their mistake.” But my heart was not in that. I had to take it back and correct the situation. “But they would be so annoyed with me for that, and I want to eat that tonight, which is why I bought it in the first place.” No, that won’t work either. Back it goes. Tomorrow. And I cooked something else last night. What a pain.
Then, this morning, I am reviewing Matthew 5:17-48 for my Growth Group Bible Study which will meet tomorrow night and lo, and behold, Jesus is telling me that I had better get that straightened out before I eat that sweet potato. You see, He doesn’t care how small the infraction, sin is sin, and stealing is stealing. They are going to be severely annoyed at that store… But He won’t let me steal, no matter how many excuses I come up with. He loves me too much for that.
As I read more and more, I began to think of ways in which we try to avoid the letter of the law. One major area was written about recently in the news. “How fast can I drive above the speed limit and still not get a ticket?” Did anybody else see that story? Well, to quote Jesus, “You have heard” that you can go 4 to 9 miles per hour above the limit (depending on whether you live in WA or OR) before they will bother to ticket you”. But (Jesus would say,) driving above the speed limit at all is breaking the law. And setting your Cruise Control to 74 in a 70 MPH area is seriously compounding that sin. As detectives might say, “You were deliberately planning to break the law. You are guilty of ‘first degree’ speeding.” Smile.
Do we need further proof that we are incapable of meeting the requirements of the law? That we need to rely on Jesus to keep us out of trouble as much as possible in this life on earth and to bring us into the presence of God in the next? Can we now see that without Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection, we are lost? We cannot find our way through the maze of sin alone. May God help us to see our weakness and to come to Him for our only possible salvation through the blood of Jesus and into the power of His Word and His Spirit.
Now off to the store I go… as soon as I finish my laundry.