Especially as a pastor. People want to think that their pastors are holier and more righteous than them. (Spoiler Alert: if you go to our church, you may not want to read the rest of this post) I'm not. Even. Close.
And, since I know Trevor fairly well, I'm pretty sure I'm able to vouch for him and say that he isn't, either. He's doing better than I am, but still not perfect.
Case in point- most of you are aware of the immigration debacle I've been living through the past four years or so. We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now, but until we actually get out of this dark purgatorial slums of the immigration waiting line I will not have my driver's license.
My license expired soon after Ainsley was born, and I lost just about all sense of freedom. It's one of the reasons I started blogging, because I needed something that didn't make me feel trapped in my own home.
In February, I got a letter from Canada Immigration saying "hey, we've gone over your application and everything looks great! You're almost done!" Or something like that. Not so cheerful. So, I took it into the Canadian equivalent to the DMV and they said, "That looks good for a couple months worth of driving freedom."
So, they gave me a temporary license. A two month temporary license. In February. For those of you who are rusty with your math, it's expired now.
I've also got a teensy weensy addiction to caffeine. Especially pop/soda/coke/whateveryoucrazieswanttocallit. I am aware that it is horrible for me and have been trying to quit. But last Thursday I reeeallly needed some of that deliciously fizzy soda water.
And we had none in the house. I figured it wouldn't be a horrible sin if we just quickly and quietly drove to the nearest corner store to pick up some high fructose refreshment. After I grappled with the ramifications of my direct rebellion for a while, the desire of my flesh took over and I loaded Ainsley in her carseat.
I forgot about God's secret weapon.
He asks, "Where are we going, mom?"
Me: "To the store."
Aidan: "Oh. Are we walking?"
Me: "No. It's too far. We're driving."
Aidan: "But you don't have your driver's license."
Me: "Um, it's okay."
Aidan: "No it's not. You can't drive without a driver's license."
Me: "But I have a special license. Just for today."
Great. Now I'm lying to my kid, too. Not even like a tooth fairy/Santa lie.
Aidan: "Oh, cool! Did it come in the mail with the checks?" (he calls the bills "checks." I wish.)
Me: "Yep! Nope. No, there is no driver's license. Mommy's a filthy liar." (I may have just thought that last part)
Then a light bulb went off. I can order a pop from the pizza place and they'll deliver it to me! And I'll look like a real tool just ordering a pop.
Well, I guess we're having pizza for lunch.
So, Aidan pushed for me to do the right thing and got rewarded with pizza.
Why did I write this besides to prove how much of a jerk I am? Having integrity is a daily battle. One that I struggle with.
I'm too quick to compromise my morals when it benefits me. I'm too quick to open my mouth to say something critical about another person when I need to just keep it shut.
Sometimes "doing the right thing" costs something. Most times the only benefit is knowing that you didn't compromise everything you believe in for one bottle of Dr. Pepper. (mmm... Dr. Pepper...) But sometimes you get a pizza out of the deal.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.