I didn't blog yesterday...on purpose. This is number 137 today, and I had said that if I couldn't keep it fresh, I wouldn't do it. Yesterday, after I read the Life Journal texts, and reread them, and reread them, I had nothing. So, instead of just making something up, I didn't blog. I'm struggling now with which is more important: the discipline of writing every day, or writing when scripture speaks. We'll see where that struggle goes, but this morning I'm back on.
"One bad apple can ruin the whole bushel." How many of us heard that growing up? And we know what it was about. It was about that one bad kid that mom and dad didn't want us hanging around with because they knew, as we know now, that you are at least in part, a product of who you spend your time with. If you spend your time with a bad apple, more than likely that bad apple behavior will rub off on you, at least to some extent.
I have to say, I think I belong to the camp who's credo is "Everyone has at least some good in them." There are days when that is challenged within my very core; having to share the road with stupid drivers, whiney people in McDonald's, folks with more than 20 items in the "20 items or less" line at walmart, spandex where there should be heavy denim, and I could go on and on. But in general, I like to think that no one is all bad, even the folks with more than 20 items in the "20 items or less line" (Read the sign people, go to another line, and quit ruining my life!), but there is one place in scripture that makes me wonder. Ok, at least one place.
This is from Jeremiah 13, and here is what it says: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil." So, Jeremiah, are you saying that once you're a bad apple, you're always a bad apple? Maybe something was lost in translation, I don't know. Maybe I missed the context. But that sure sounds like what he's saying. So much for transformation, I guess.
You see, I know folks who were bad apples growing up. They were always in trouble. They were the ones that kept the teacher mad at the rest of us, and just in general, made life miserable. BUT, as they matured something happened. Call it grace, call it guilt, call it "Finding Jesus," whatever you want, but something changed.
Now, certainly, some folks have their good side hidden a lot deeper than others, and you have to look much harder to find it. I don't deny that at all, and all you have to do is turn the news on to see that is true. But, is Jeremiah saying that the sin within us, however deep it's buried, is beyond the reach of God's transforming grace? Sorry, but I'm just not buying it.
I posted a quote by Soren Kierkegaard yesterday or the day before that said, "God creates out of nothing. Wonderful, you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is more wonderful still; he creates saints out of sinners."
Sorry Jeremiah, I gotta disagree with you on this one.