Scripture reading for today: 1 John 1:3-10
Key verse from reading: 1 John 1:8, "If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
When's the last time you listened to a street preacher if ever?
I was a freshman in college, walking through the park near Theta Pond and there was a large crowd gathered around a public preacher. He called himself "Brother Jim" and it was quite a spectacle. He was loud and animated in a geeky kind of way because he was so tall and lanky. He considered himself a prophet and was very derogatory to the student body - most of the women were called "whores" while the men were referred to as "whore-mongers".
It was not a preaching with which I connected but it did draw me in - kind of like when people slow down at the scene of an accident - we are morbidly curious creatures.
Someone quoted to him Jesus' famous passage from Matthew 7:1, "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged." (CEB). He replied that he didn't mind being judged because he no longer sinned.
At this point, he lost all credibility with the crowd. You could see it slip away. What esteem I held for him for at least living out his convictions turned to a kind of pity in that he was deceiving himself.
During Lent, we are invited to examine our own sin. There are times when I deceive myself about my own behavior or its consequences. It's easier to make someone like Brother Jim a target when he makes these claims out loud.
But the harder thing to do is to ask, "When am I making these claims about myself?"
Breath prayer for today: O Lamb of God, have mercy upon me.