DayBreaks for 8/17/15: The Except for Me Syndrome
There are optimists and there are pessimists and there are realists. It seems that to some extent we have a predisposition one way or the other, and that’s OK. I like to think of myself as a realist, but optimists would say I’m a pessimist, and pessimists would say I’m too optimistic. I can live with that when we’re talking about the sorts of things that happen in this world. I’ll joke around about winning the Publisher’s Clearing House contest, but realistically, I’m not holding my breath. When I’m driving around and see billboards talking about what the lottery prizes are for the week, I may joke about getting a ticket, but I don’t – not because I’m a pessimist, but a realist. I know that I’m not going to win that $117 million dollars even if I did buy a ticket (which I won’t)! I suspect there are lots of people like me, who believe that great things will never happen.
The problem is when we carry that over into our relationship with God. We can fall into what I am calling the “Except for Me Syndrome.” Think about these passages and see if you’ve ever had thoughts like these:
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. – Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT) I hear myself sometimes say, “Yes, Lord, I believe that, except for me…you can’t possibly love me that way after all I’ve done.”
…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. – Psalm 103:12 (NIV) Are you thinking, “Yes, Lord, I’m sure that’s true for everyone except for me…I am far too sinful.”
However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. – John 6:37 (NLT) “I’d love to believe that, Lord, and I do…except for me. I’ve done too much to ever be accepted.”
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are… – 1 John 3:1a (ESV) “Everyone in the pew with me on Sunday is your child, except for me. You couldn’t possibly be referring to someone like me as your child!”
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. – Revelation 21:7 (KJV) “This is true of Christians, except for me, because I not much of an overcomer.”
For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. – 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (NLT) “How I wish I could believe this, Lord, that you aren’t angry with me ad that you’ll save me so I could live forever with you. I’m sure that you’ll save Billy Graham and Mother Theresa and good folks like that, most Christians, in fact, except for me.”
My friends, if those words, except for me, are in your head when you think of the promises of God and the extent of his love and grace towards you, stop. Move those words out of your mind and your heart. God’s promises are either true or they are not. He is no respecter of persons. He never changes. He has never broken a promise or told a lie. He cannot do either. If He is able to save anyone and remove their sins as far as the east is from the west, He can do it for me, and for you. Not only can He, He has already done so for those who are in Christ!
PRAYER: God, as much as we’d love to dare to hope in your promises, we struggle sometimes to do so because we don’t really know you well enough! Help us lay hold of your promises and live in great celebration as children of the Great King! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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