Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shake It Like a Salt Shaker

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said. – Luke 7: 41-43

Jesus is having dinner at a Pharisees house. A “sinful” woman hears that he is there. She comes, kneels at Jesus’ feet weeping. She washes his feet with her tears and hair! Then she pours some expensive perfume on his feet.

Simon, the Pharisee thinks to himself that if Jesus really is a prophet then he must know what kind of woman she is. Then Jesus drops the bomb quoted above.

I’ve heard many a comedian talk about this idea a woman shakin’ it like a salt shaker in the club Saturday night coming to church the next morning hollering and praying louder than anyone. This weird juxtaposition of lifestyle and worship does seem pretty funny. But when we think about what Jesus said above, it makes a lot of sense.

I think that I’m a pretty good guy. Much like Simon the Pharisee I try to do my best to treat people well and be an overall good person. That’s a good thing. I too have looked down on folks who seem to be blatantly hypocritical. I’ve looked from the outside at their lives and compared it to what they say they believe and found the two to not match up.

But I was wrong to do that.

We have no idea where other people are on their path. Living a Godly life is a journey, not a destination. We don’t all of the sudden become “good people” or “righteous”. Each and every one of us is comprised of a set of choices, some good and some bad. It’s just that some of us have made choices that have been so damaging to ourselves and others that it is clear to them where they stand. They see very clearly that they are not good enough so they come rushing to God.

This too is a good thing.

So sure, maybe they don’t change overnight. We may see them in church hollering and carrying on while they are still struggling to get free from a lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.

But before we can change, we have to admit to ourselves that change is required. The sinful woman admitted that and through her actions showed Jesus that she believed he would forgive her.

And he did.

I wonder how many “good” people out there are like me and Simon; thinking that we can do it all on our own, thinking that good is good enough, looking at others and judging.

After all, I’ve spent my fair share of time shakin’ it at the club…

This is the underlying question in this story… Is “good” really good enough?

Food for thought.

(parental advisory for the clip below...which of course means kids have already seen it.)

Today’s Reading: Judges 19-21: Luke 7:31-50

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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