Hello, my name is Jamie...and I'm a hypocrite. There, I said it. I have several pet peeves, one of them is being around hypocrites. I despise fake, always have I guess. I think that is why I'm so vocal about God's grace being open to everyone. Realizing that you are no better than anyone else is great, but having that realization driven home again and again sucks sometimes.
I had to run to town yesterday to pick up a few things. So I shut the laptop down, put all of my books to the side, folded all of the articles back up, and headed out. Now, let me just go on record as saying that I'm a pretty open minded kind of guy. There's not a lot that really gets my dander up, except...you guessed it...fakes.
As I'm walking through Wal-Mart, that bastion of excess and consumerism, a guy coming down the aisle cuts me off with his little shopping cart...runs right out in front of me...a big guy, too. I'm not a big guy. This guy had a bandanna tied around his head, (...which is cool. I wear one during the summer to keep my bald spot from getting sun burned) and he had gauges.
Now, if you're unfamiliar with what gauges are, let me enlighten you. It's an ear piercing to the Nth degree. (I'm pierced, so that doesn't bother me. In fact I'm thinking about doing the other ear, too, but I digress.) Gauges are piercings that you can look through. Yeah, holes in your ear lobes. I've seen them from pencil sized all the way up to about 2 inches across.
Here's what got me. I was walking down the aisle behind this guy because he cut me off, remember...I notice the gauges and think, "Oh...well, there you go then. He's got gauges." It was like I was saying that I expected him to cut me off because he had holes in his ear lobes. That's when it hit me. As much as I advocate for the "other," not even I am above the temptation to create an "other" out of someone else. That realization absolutely broke my heart.
Remember how I talked about Peter yesterday, and how he almost got it? Today we get the rest of that story. In Acts 11, Peter is having to defend himself to the leaders of the church. Remember he had committed a taboo...he had actually gone into the home of a Gentile. As he stood there defending himself, he said this: "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?"
It would have been really cool if I had found out that this guy in Wal-mart was a pastor or youth director. Actually it wouldn't have been cool at all, it would have only amplified my guilt, but alas, I didn't find out because I was too ashamed to speak to him.
So, God, forgive me for I have sinned. Who am I to think that I can stand in your way.