Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Lesson I Learned At The Garbage Dump About Righteousness

A freezer at the church went out the other day. The food had begun to spoil when it was found, so we loaded everything up on the trailer and headed to the dump. It had been awhile since I had been at the dump, and the smell was pretty strong. It smelled just like the bait we used to use to catch catfish; ripe and rancid. The hills were huge and I commented to my friend how different this was from Africa. There the garbage hills are small; sifted through, every possible usable and eatable item taken. I ran into someone later that afternoon who was ranting about another Christian brother's sin. The conversation soured my stomach like the smell of the dump. I wanted to remind the critical brother of his own failings, but I was too busy being reminded by God of my own. Too often we pile up our righteousness before God and other men, thinking it is impressive. It is not. It is ripe and rancid and unfit for His comsumption. "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." (Isaiah 64:6)