I know 79mph is speeding. By a lot, even. But I also know that I'm not speeding as much as the guy who just passed me going 83--and so I know I probably won't be pulled over and held responsible for my 79mph.
As many of us do this out on the road, I'm convinced we're doing it in our spiritual lives as well.
We're called to holiness, but it seems a lot of believers are more concerned about where they land on some kind of "spectrum" of spiritual life than on really desiring holiness.
Before we know it, our aim isn't holiness, nor honoring our God with the lives He gave us. And our lives become one big game of "I'm slightly less sinful than YOU."
Yes, I do it. And I cringe at the thought, because it's not at all what I long for! I want purity of soul. I desire rightness of action. I long to do what God wants, not just a slightly more sanitized version of what somebody else is doing.
I don't want to buy this lie...
Heathens <------- ME -------> Legalists
...the lie that says, "Everyone who is more permissive than I am in their choices and actions is a heathen, and everyone who is less so is a legalist." What??!?? When did I become the standard?
I am not. You are not. We are called to holiness, as He is holy. We fail, we fall, we need His grace. But we are, in no uncertain terms, called to holiness.
No more "I can watch this because someone in my small group watches this--or worse." Holiness.
No more "So-and-so doesn't report everything on their taxes, either." Holiness.
No more "Nobody else reads their Bible either." Holiness.
I am the LORD, who brings you up
out of the land of Egypt.
So be holy, for I am holy.
* Is this a struggle for you? What are some of the standards you see yourself setting for your life that are based on what other believers are willing to do?