One of the religion scholars spoke up: "Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you’re insulting us?"
said, "Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You’re hopeless, you
religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations,
nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help. Luke 11:45-46 (TM)
I’ve found it a short road from sinner saved by grace to religious hypocrite ruled by regulations. I feel like I’ve run the circuit. I came to Jesus – just another bozo on the bus trying to find my way home. Then somewhere along the line I became a self-righteous Pharisee keeping "meticulous account books" and spiritual spreadsheets checking off lists of "do’s" and "don’ts" and "rights" and "wrongs". I made the journey from grateful penitent to religious inquisitor in the blink of an eye. I climbed upon the Judgement seat that was never meant for me – wearing my polished medals of religious merit and the coveted Junior Holy Spirit badge.
I’m not sure how I wound up there. God, forgive me.
I’ve taken off the Junior Holy Spirit badge. I’ve put away my medals of religious merit. They’ve profited me nothing in the eternal scheme of things. Those medals and a buck fifty will get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Somehow, I’ve found myself back at the bus stop. Here comes the next load of bozos just like me. I think I’ll join them for the ride…introduce myself…offer to buy someone a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Maybe, just maybe, I can help give someone the directions home. Heck, maybe I’ll just offer to walk along and keep them company.