He Was Right
But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. 2 Peter 2:12 (NIV).
I have a confession: I haven’t always professed my belief in Jesus this way. In fact, I spent quite a few years being a cocky, profane hypocrite. I said I was a Christian, but I only would have told you that if you had pressed me on it. I was scared to do otherwise. Other than that confession, nothing about my words, demeanor, or attitude would have told you I was anything other than just another fool with a loud-mouth who said too much of too little worth.
This point was brought home to me by friends with whom my wife and I visited last month. We were in Colorado and were invited over to see some friends we hadn’t seen in many years (from our time in Italy, in fact). Our friend, Wanda, told her husband, Brad, that she had been reading some of these Christian blog posts. Brad’s remark: “that doesn’t sound like the Dave Terry I remember.”
He was right. You see, I could have been the guy Peter was talking about in verse 12. I was an unreasoning animal, a creature of sinful instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed. My words and actions brought disrepute on God for many years. Yes, I believed, but I was a hypocrite. Profane, immature, unreasonable, drunken, unkind, dishonest: keep it up with the negative adjectives and more than a few would stick to me. As a young man, and for many years, this was my pattern. Even after God blessed me with a wife, a family, and success; even after rediscovering faith and what it really meant. Jude could have been talking about me when he said, “these people slander whatever they do not understand.”
Thanks be to the Lord that He’s better than me, that He has outrageous mercy and grace. That He sends other people, like my friends, to witness with their words and lives. Sometimes it doesn’t sink in immediately. Sometimes we push against the goads, we struggle against what we know is right. Pride will do that to us. A little pride is the engine of satisfaction, but too much of it can douse that engine in dangerous fuel.
There’s a better way. In every moment during my most distasteful days, Jesus was there. He was patient; He was sinless; He was providing for me; He was beckoning me to change. It took time for me to listen, and listening meant stripping down my soul until I had no place left to turn but to Him. And that’s when the good times truly began.
For further reading: Psalm 49:12, Jude 10, 2 Peter 2:13
Lord Jesus, all I can say is “thank You.”
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