Photo Courtesy of Matthew Kelley
When I see stories in the news about a pastor or televangelist proclaiming that God sent a hurricane or earthquake to punish someone on their personal enemies list, or when whether one buys a chicken sandwich becomes the supreme statement of faith for a few days, I roll my eyes and wonder if I even practice the same religion as these people.
So when I saw this image today, I had a moment of satisfaction at the thought that Jesus gets as aggravated as I do with other Christians.
But just as quickly, I was reminded (I think it's the Holy Spirit smacking me upside the head) that when I have such moments of self-satisfaction and smug superiority, I'm doing the exact same thing that annoys me when I see other people doing it. I may not be claiming that God is sending a hurricane to punish groups I don't like, but in my heart I'm saying "raca" to my brother, and that's as bad in God's eyes as murdering them.
So if I'm going to think that this is how Jesus reacts to some of my fellow Christians, I have to be open the the possibility that Jesus also gets frustrated with me in my own moments of smug superiority. I make Jesus roll his eyes as much as anyone else. Probably more so, since preachers tend to be the "chiefs of sinners".
The good news, however, is that God seems to be able to use me even with my many, many flaws. So the things that drive me crazy about other people must be a bigger problem for me than they are for God. God works through all of us, and the more willing I am to see that in the people I don't particularly like, the more I get to experience just how amazing grace really is.
I guess that means I have to get off my own pedestal. Darn it...