I’m Not So Bad! Am I?
And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, “Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” then you shall say to them: “Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.” (Jeremiah 16:10-12)
We all have the ability to deceive ourselves. If you don’t believe me, watch reality television! So many times there are people on these shows that think they are far more talented than they really are. They come up to sing before judges and what comes out of their mouths is like nails on a chalkboard. They deceive themselves. If we are honest, we will admit we are all experts at self-deception.
The area where we deceive ourselves the most is our own personal sin. We often pick someone that is really bad in our eyes and compare ourselves to them. They look worse and we look better and then we get comfortable with our sin.
This is exactly what was happening in Jeremiah’s day. The people wickedly rebelled against God. So God brings judgment their way by sending a people that are more sinful than them to occupy their land. What is their response? “Why is God doing this? We are not as bad as the people that are holding us captive.” They had forgotten their own sin. But God saw it because He knew their hearts. And He knows our hearts today.
Paul reminds us of a valuable truth in 1 Timothy 1:15 when he says, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” This truth is a powerful tonic to our self-deception. Paul had it right.
This realization can change your life. I am the worst sinner I know. I am the most sinful person in my marriage. I am the most sinful person I know in my workplace. I have to think this way because I am the only one who knows my real thoughts and motives. Only me and God. And I am the only one that can change my sinful behavior with the grace, mercy, and strength of God.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking, “I’m not that bad!” Remind yourself how bad you are by remembering the cross of Jesus Christ. Remember the price paid for your sin. Remember His blood shed for your sin. When the thought rises in your head, “I’m not that bad,” tell yourself “No, I’m much worse than I think,” and run to the cross, run to Jesus, and cherish His sacrifice for your sin.
- Ask the Lord to reveal one sin pattern that needs to change. Write it down and then take steps to change by putting off this sin and putting on the truth of Scripture.
- Rehearse the Gospel message every day this week. Remember, you are a great sinner but Jesus is a greater Savior.
Prayer: Father, You are so good to me. I know that I underestimate my sin. Help me to magnify Your greatness by remembering the great sacrifice for my enormous sin, Jesus Christ. Help me to cling to Him alone. May I not cling to my works, but His finished work on my behalf. May I see my badness so that I will flee to His goodness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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