It’s Monday Grace!
I used to take a blank white piece of paper and write a small black dot in the middle. Nothing else was on the page but the black dot. Then I would hold it up and ask people what they saw. Invariably, people would say they saw a black dot. Over 99.9 percent of the paper was clean and white, but everyone identified the dot as what they were looking at. We were taught to focus on the thing that seems out of place.
When the teacher handed back your homework, you looked immediately to see what you got wrong. You might have been pleased with your grade, but you saw the mistakes. Usually, they were marked with bold red pen. A large check mark showed you which line or problem you got wrong. Almost all the attention was given to what was wrong.
Now, I may not like that inordinate focus on things that are wrong or out of place, but I suspect this is far more than just a style of teaching. I think it is something deep within us. We are aware of our inadequacies. We know that things are not right in the world. We also know that these things are a threat to us.
Years ago, I had a discussion with an older pastor from a nearby church. I commented on some folks who had left my church after doing serious damage to the body. I suggested that they were like a cancer. Their brokenness seemed to cause brokenness in others. Then I said that they were now attending a large church where they might not be able to cause so much damage. He responded, “So, you think a little cancer is okay in a man as long as he is a big man?”
He certainly had a point. A few cancer cells are a threat to the body. Normal cells take care of themselves, but cancer cells affect healthy cells and create more cancer cells. Once they are present, life in the body changes.
When God created humanity, He created them to be perfect. No sickness or disease. No brokenness or sin. But when sin entered humanity, everything changed. That sin infected healthy hearts and minds and souls. In fact, the Bible suggests that all of creation was affected by sin. Not just humans, but everything. The compromise, the impurity, the stain affected everything.
And we know that something is wrong. Things are not as they should be. Not in the world and not in humanity. Not in everyone and not in me. There is a flaw, a cancer, that threatens and ruins us. The brokenness is not just in us, but in the things we do and think. We are drawn to sin, and all that comes out of us is tainted by sin.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9) A little cancer threatens the whole body. A little sin grows to infect everything in our world.
And there is nothing we can do about it. Since we are infected, everything we do is infected. No matter how kind or how sacrificial or how obedient we try to be, it will never be enough because of the impurity in us. We need change from the outside, from Someone not infected.
The “fix” is not in us. We are aware of the problem, but the solution is not in us. We can try all kinds of things, but nothing will be enough. Not when we bring the problem into every solution.
So, we need a Savior. We need help. This world needs help. Everyone around us needs help. And the Bible makes it very clear that all of this is true and the answer is found in Jesus.
Yes, we can live in denial. We can pretend that we have it all together. We can present to the world a happy and successful face. But we still know that something is wrong. And, interestingly, those who can’t admit that something is wrong, who believe themselves to be just right, are usually thought of as arrogant or deceived. Not only do we know something is wrong with us, we know something is wrong with them.
When Jesus offers to be our Savior, He doesn’t just offer to fix things. He offers to “make all things new.” To recreate us, give us new life and new identity. Then He promises that He will one day recreate our whole world. He will make everything new. A new world and a new life. No more pain, no more sin, no more cancer.
When we admit that we need a Savior, we open ourselves to the change Jesus offers. When we look to Him and ask Him, He will make things new in our lives. The old, as the Scriptures say, will pass away. Things will be right again.
We need a Savior.