[journey through romans: 2:1-16]
One verse grabbed my attention this morning as I read the passage from Romans.
In most Bible translations, it simply says “God treats everyone the same way.”
However, I was reading the Message version and Eugene Peterson expanded that verse.
Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.
As I read this, it hit home.
Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval.
Or, in my case, being a pastor’s kid doesn’t give me an automatic stamp of approval.
It is all too easy to assume that if one grows up in Church, his parents are Christians, and he is involved in Church life, that means that person is a Christian as well.
However, from my personal experience… if anything, it is harder for pastor’s kids to really be Christians. I am not complaining about the hard life, no. Life’s pretty great. But there’s a dangerous trap in thinking: it is harder to acknowledge that you too are a sinful human and deserve the punishment for your sins.
It is harder to realize that while you might be good, you still need a personal relationship with God and not just feed off your parents’ (or pastor’s) relationship with God.
It is harder to realize that actually, you’re no better than the person next to you in the bus during your morning commute.
It is harder because you’re already “not really bad,” which is almost good, right?
There were times when I somewhat envied those who had a (really) hard life – who were into drugs or alcohol or other problems – and became Christians. For them, the conversion was a dramatic moment.
And for me? Not much has changed. I was a somewhat good kid and I remained a somewhat good kid.
For a very long time that bothered me so much I even subconsciously tried to be bad, just so I could repent and feel it.
But still… even if I am a pastor’s kid, even if I went to Church every Sunday (with exception of a few when I was sick or in the middle of nowhere where Church wasn’t available)… even if I taught kids in Sunday School, VBS, and camps… I am not different from any other man or woman. The only difference is that God offered me salvation and I accepted it.
What do you think about that verse?