“Bad Choices”

For the past few months my 2-year old son has been drawing on the walls, and the bathtub, and the floors, and boxes, and pretty much anything he can write on with a crayon—his weapon of choice.  Just the other day I was helping him ride his tricycle, and as he passes by one of his many markings he says, “Bye bad choice, see you soon!”  Although everything in his life he eventually will “see soon”, I chuckled to myself at the irony in his statement.

We become so proud of everything we do, little do we realize that even what we recognize to be “wrong” or distasteful will be that to which we ultimately return.  King Solomon made a statement in his Proverbs (26:11) that the Apostle Peter restated (2 Peter 2:22)—“A dog returns to his own vomit”.  Of course, my Isaiah has no idea why he continues to draw on the walls–even after we tell him not to or that it’s a bad choice—he just does.  That’s part of our human nature.

Perhaps part of the problem is in our view of sin as a ‘moral’ issue.  Raised in a Christian home, Continue reading

“What In Hell Are You Looking For?”

…are the words I hear as I open my eyes from my momentary daze to hear Robert ask those words. It is Freshman year in this Christian college, a place I really didn’t want to be at the time. He’s giving our daily devotion in class and everybody becomes stunned by his use of “Hell”. As he explained our human tendency to revert back to the habits that only make us sick, he captivates the attention of every student. Everything pointing to Hell intrigues and appeals to our fallen nature. Seven years later, that thought lingers in my mind. I look at my own life, as decrepit and disgusting and vulgar the man I have become, and ask myself the same question. I feel like a maggot feeding on a rotten fruit laying in the gutter. The thought of forgiveness is laughable, at best.

Sunday morning Mike walks into a big church building with people everywhere, through the doors into a room filled with the sound of praise. As his sweaty hand grips his Bible, he tries to find a seat for himself. “Just one,” he tells an usher who points him to a seat in the third row. As he lays his Bible on the seat, he looks up on stage to see an array of musicians and singers offering their musicality to their God, their Jesus, and they are filled with emotion in doing so. A recognizable song begins and he starts to sing, but as he does so he is immediately struck by the debaucheries of the previous night. He tastes the scent of every kind of alcohol and feels the pain in his lungs from all the smoke. As he closes his eyes he almost loses balance from his body’s remaining withdrawals from all his poison. As he prays with humility, he becomes keenly aware of all the guilt he feels. His request for God’s presence somehow does not match last night’s attempt at pleasure and fulfillment. If anything he is relieved by, it is that he observes his wallet’s slot for tithe, “At least I did that,” he whispers. Continue reading