Last week I went to renew my Driver’s License. I had made an appointment ahead of time, so I walked past the twenty people in the no appointment line right to the front of the appointment line. Things were looking good. Until I stepped up with all my documentation and the lady said, “I need one more item to prove your address.” I wanted to blurt out “Really?” with much attitude. Certainly I was worthy of an exception, but no.
I wonder, though, isn’t that a bit of what we all do? We want things to work just so for everyone else but we think we are the exception. How many times have we heard of those who point an accusing finger at another, only to find that they suffer from the same issue themselves. I understand, truly I do. I really wanted the lady to make an exception. Just for me.
The thing is, though, it happens in our spiritual lives, too. We want the people around us to live authentic lives of faith through regular worship, study, prayer, service and giving, yet when asked to do so ourselves, how often do we claim exception status? You know, the one who doesn’t think he or she must apply the teaching to pray daily or worship weekly but criticizes those who don’t. The ones who leave a church because they want a church where they preach the Bible yet when asked, they haven’t actually read the Bible so have no way to tell. The ones who verbally batter others for their sins while secretly committing the same sins themselves. We all try to do it, even without realizing it. Remember that little teaching of Jesus pictured above, “let anyone among you who is without sin throw the first stone…”(John 8:7) The men that day thought themselves the exception and better than the woman they would stone to death. Well, until Jesus reminded them of who they really were – sinners – just as we are. All of us. Imagine with me what it might be like for us to put down our stones so we can take up our faith with intention, exceptional only in our love of Jesus and each other instead. I look forward to your comments.