How often have you heard this? It’s a catch-all phrase people say who bristle at the more impugning Christian-eze about everyone being a sinner, needing to be saved, and so on. Honestly, they think to themselves, why do I need a Savior? I’m a good person, I’ve never killed anyone or abused a cat or intentionally done harm to someone else. Job had a little of this attitude going too.
God forbid that I should justify you—saying you [Bildad, Eliphaz, and Zophar] are right [in your accusations against me]; till I die, I will not put away my integrity from me. My uprightness and my right standing with God I hold fast and will not let them go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days and it shall not reproach me as long as I live. [Job 27:5-6, Amplified]
What is the appropriate reply? I’m not sure. Is it for me to try and convince the other person of his/her shortcomings, immoralities, or misdeeds? Is it for me to point out their personal abuses like overeating, smoking, or other chemical intake? Is it for me to mention their self-absorption, their miserliness, or their pride? Am I to be the one to point out their luxuries while others starve, their health while others die, their contentment while others suffer? Should I mention their debt or over-spending? Should I mention a lack of empathy or compassion for others not like them? Should I mention words of judgment or lies or flattery?
For these things, I stand charged each day. I don’t need anyone to tell me because I know. And I ask forgiveness. I am no better than you. And maybe no worse. But I see the truth of me in the mirror of Christ while also seeing a potential for true “good.”
This is the beginning wisdom.