Let’s check this theory out. Jesus is supposed to be my example. Simply making the claim to be his disciple means I try my best to do what he would do. So if I look at what had to be the worst time of his life on earth, the last twenty-four hours, then I can measure myself against the true standard.
Over the Passover meal, when his disciples were once again arguing about who would be the most important in the kingdom, he finally lost his cool. “Shut up! I have more important things on my mind than dealing with your petty concerns right now.”
He was so concerned about the upcoming trials he would need to endure, he never once thought about what they might be going through, and left them to their fears and confusion. “Grow up!” he told them. “It’s high time you figured this out for yourselves.”
When one of his best friends betrayed him, the other apostles were still murmuring among themselves about who it must be. “Be quiet,” he said. “This isn’t about you.”
He was obviously in tremendous pain as he hung on the cross, so how could he even begin to worry about his mother and her care? “Can’t you quit that sniveling? You’re only making things worse.”
Well, that’s how it might read if it were me going through those trials. Instead, Jesus left an example that shows me there is no excuse for poor behavior. Despite what he was going through, the like of which I have never had to endure, he kept his thoughts on others. He kept his voice tempered. He kept his actions loving. Not even his enemies suffered a tongue-lashing of the type I find so easy to dish out when I am upset or do not feel well.
For you see, God does not allow trials in our lives so we will have excuses for sin. He allows them so we will grow and get stronger. When I excuse my behavior because of what I am going through, I fail the test. Unless I recognize where I failed and determine not to do it again, I will not get stronger; I will only get weaker. In the process I will make it more likely that the next time I will fail again. And again. And again. Till there is no more need for trials at all because Satan has me exactly where he wants me, and I am too weak to even think about fighting back. Even those I claim to love will know to stay away from me when things are not going well, and so my last avenue of help is also gone.
The sad truth of the matter is the one who is best at making excuses is one poor excuse for a Christian.
For hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. For you were going astray like sheep; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls, 1 Peter 2:21-25.
(For hints, help, and instructions on using this blog, click on the FAQ/Tutorial page on the left sidebar)