A country-western song from several years ago included this refrain: “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” We assume that the songwriter was just being humorous, for reasonable people do not really think that they are perfect. Then again, we realize that there is an element of truth in these words, in the fact that people tainted by sin often do not see the need to change. They may regret what they are doing. They may acknowledge that they are not perfect. But they do not see the urgency in changing. We could rewrite the song to say, “Its hard to change when you do not see the need to change.”
The same could be said for many within the church. Christians generally have a desire to be Christlike and holy. We know what we ought to be doing. But sometimes we become comfortable in being “saved by grace and not by works,” and take a relaxed approach to Christian service and to holy living.
We would do well to remember that the gospel message that reveals to the lost God’s plan of salvation also reveals to believers God’s further instructions. The attitude of faith that initially saves us is expected to grow within us. The pursuit of godliness should not be treated like an elective course in a college curriculum. Consider it one of the core requirements for graduation.
“When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation wants a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”
Matthew 16:2-4 (HCSB)