I love feeling superior to Penn State,
and Jerry Sandusky, love seeing others as evil/wicked, love feeling outraged at the failings/weaknesses/sins of others, so I feel superior, so I feel good about myself. At least my flesh loves it. ShepherdDave loves it. CompetitiveDave loves it. JudgeDave loves it.
But when the Spirit freshly opens my eyes to the ways I’m just like Jerry Sandusky, and other losers — not on the surface, but down deep on a root level — independent at my core, willful, agendified, leaning on my own understanding so I think I know what’s best for me, so I can engineer my circumstances toward happiness/LIFE, I’m freshly convicted of my sin of independence. Jerry is more independent/evil/wicked than I am, but this doesn’t excuse my independence/evil/wickedness, which motivates me to pray, “God bless my agenda.” Because I know what’s best for me, and don’t trust that Jesus does. He’s my MagicGenieInTheSky. And IndependentDave/ShepherdDave is never satisfied with Jesus and His performance imputed to Dave: he wants something more: some of his own.
In my Bible, as I’ve read through it in recent years, whenever I come to the words “evil” or “wicked”, I scratch them out and write in “independent”. It’s changed the way I look at myself, God, others, and my circumstances. He who has little sense of having been forgiven, Jesus said, has little love for Jesus, and others, especially those hardest to love: those with values most different from his own. And only feels loved by God when things go his way. Feels unloved by God when they don’t.
–ShepherdDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he’s freshly undone, and his undoneness is contagious, enabling him to love the pre-believers around him in ways that melt their hearts and cause them to want a ShepherdJesus for themselves (please pray now)