1. “If he knew the Bible as well as I did, his life would be better.”
Yup, there it is. Judgment and self-righteousness rolled up into a neat little package.
I really really want people to read their Bibles. But when I get smug and superior about reading mine, I miss the point.
2. “I follow the rules.”
And if you do, awesome.
But that’s not what got you into Christianity, is it? You got in because of the mercy of Christ extended to you when you broke the rules.
Following the rules doesn’t keep you in the love of God any more than it got you into the love of God.
So why follow the rules? Following the rules is a response to the love of God.
And your attitude should be one of gratitude, amazement and humility.
3. “You shouldn’t hang around people like that.”
I get that we have to choose friends for our kids carefully.
But when applied to adults, this mostly stinks.
One of the reasons many churches aren’t growing is because Christians don’t know any non-Christians.
If many of us were preaching the parable about being the salt of the earth today, we’d switch it up and command the salt to stay in its hermetically sealed box and never touch any food.
Of course, Jesus said the opposite. Salt needs to get out of the box to season food.
And Jesus paid a price for that among religious people. They couldn’t fathom why he would hang out with tax collectors, hookers and other notorious sinners.