“You are a terrible person!”If someone genuinely accused me with this statement, it would hurt!Emotionally and practically and mentally, people enjoy thinking of themselves as good. The one thing I’d hope no one would ever say about me is that I am a scoundrel, a moral failure or a terrible person.Because of this, we construct our own approved pattern of morality and try with all fervor to abide by it.
But the problem with self-made rules is no one ever truly follows their own. We fail. And if we let the world into our lives, thoughts, motives and actions, everyone would realize that–even in light of our own rules
–we are terrible people.We all break the self-created commandants we claim to stand for.For example, I have designed a custom edict for my home: anyone who leaves a mess in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or living room is wrong! And when my wife breaks the edict, I break out in critical song, letting her know she overstepped my boundary. But I do too! Over and over I leave my dish on the dining room table, my facial hair in the bathroom sink or my scrap paper on the computer desk. I fumble not only this statute but all the rest, as well–at some point or another.And if we break our silly and simple human-made rules, we definitely have broken God's, which puts us all helplessly on the naughty list.I thank God (literally) that there’s forgiveness! We do NOT have to wait until next year and hope we can attain enough goodness to be off the list.As a Christian, I believe the Bible. It says that God realized people were naughty. Not only do we avoid our own rules, we fail at meeting God’s moral requirements. God sent a perfect substitute to be born, live in our place, pay the moral debt we all owe and rise from death to prove it.This substitute is Jesus! In fact, he's the only one on the "good" list.I am so glad God loved people enough to forgive them (me!) of our list of wrongs through Jesus. So next time I realize I'm naughty or terrible, I don’t have to despair but trust God has already forgiven and given me new life!God freely gives the gift of forgiveness to anyone on the list who accepts His son, Jesus! What says this better than the timeless Christmas song in the YouTube video below?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnPMWpwGiA8Adapted from my personal blog "Writing on Life."