[Papercut Press] 1999-11-15 - Philadelphia Brainiacs

Proverbs 14:9 "Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is good will."

Living in the Philadelphia area, I feel I have a right, from time to time, to take some shots at some of the wiser folks that live in my area. Phil Horner is one such Philadelphian who wondered what it might feel like to get shot. I guess I also wonder, in a detached, don't want to know, kind of way. Phil did something about his curiosity, he took a gun and shot himself in the shoulder. Such actions are really bizarre enough as is, but Phil is one of those extra curious types. Recently a 911 call came in to dispatch an ambulance to the Horner residence. It seems that he shot himself one more time. The reason? In his own words, "I wanted to see if it hurt as much as it did the first time."

Sometimes we can be like Phil. The foolish part of our nature keeps us from learning from our past and foolishly repeating it. There are some sins that even after the horrible experience of committing them once, twice, or over and over again, we still seem to want to see if it hurts us, or our walk with the Lord as much as it did in the past. We continue to fall into them.

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel." (Proverbs 12:15)

Self-righteousness is one of those sins that almost all of us are prone to. And yet it is one of those sins that makes us look the most foolish. Self-righteousness sees things one way, our way. It views politics, religion, the cleanliness of the bathroom, the methods of other drivers on the road, the gossip practices of others, and almost every other thing under the sun, one way--our way.

There is one thing that is common in all those who are self-righteous. They are unteachable. They always know the right way to do things and no one else knows how to do it quite as well as them. There is always something lacking in the sermon. It seems that such people are unlike those that Jesus choose to use in setting up His church.

The disciples that Christ choose were teachable. It seems that teachableness must have been one of the qualities that each disciple possessed. It must be the case because Christ was always teaching them. Even if He wasn't explicitly teaching them in a parable, He was teaching them by His example, for instance by rising early in the morning.

We should strive to be like those whom Christ used to set up His church. We ought to be teachable. We ought to strive to put aside our foolish self righteousness and try to learn one way--His way. It really is a simple thought that is often difficult to put into practice. Our natural inclination is to do things one way--our way. Christ would have us do things one way--His way. One of the struggles of the Christian life is learning how to do things less our way and more according to the one right way, His way.

"Never are men's hearts in such a hopeless condition as when they are not sensible of their own sins." JC Ryle.

"Self-Righteousness is the devil's masterpiece." Thomas Adams.

Soli Deo Gloria,