a couple of weeks ago i listened to a sermon series via podcast by Andy Stanley called “It Came From Within“. it’s a great series overall, but one thing really grabbed me. in the first message of the series he mentions (about 17min into it) a survey in which people were asked, “if you could get away with any crime without any consequences, what would you do and would you do it?”
i’ve actually asked myself this question several times. actually a slight variation, “if i wasn’t a Christian, what kind of person would i be?”
my answer is always “a thief”.
sure there are other things that i occasionally think i would do. maybe i’d follow in my father’s footsteps before he was saved and be a drunk or involved in gang activities. or perhaps i’d be a womanizer, or any number of things.
but i always come back to the idea of being a thief. maybe it’s because i’ve seen movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and the subsequent sequels. and i think how cool it would be to organize such an elaborate plan and then to execute it flawlessly. or maybe it’s because at some places it seems like it’d be so easy to do so.
in fact there’s times that i’ll walk around several business and just imagine how easy it would be to escape their security or slip something by the doors.
have i ever stolen anything? well there actually was one time when in high school i believe that i ripped page out of a magazine at the grocery store (it was like a swimsuit issue of something or other). but other than that, i’ve been pretty much straight and narrow. (oh wait, are we counting pirated music/software? a topic for another blog post perhaps.)
out of all the places i’ve worked, the settings i’ve been in, and entrusted with valuable merchandise and information; there hasn’t been a time that i acted on those sinful tendencies within me.
in fact i remember working at a bank once as the lead teller. and part of my job duties were to count the incoming shipment of money every tuesday. i worked at a smaller branch in town so it was only around $15-20k. there i was making a good $9/hr and counting stacks of $20 bills all over the table. i remember knowing the inside workings of a bank and thinking, “if i ever came into really hard times i know exactly how i’d rob this bank.”
thankfully that time has never come and i think my life has changed quite significantly now that i wouldn’t ever be tempted to actually commit the crime.
and through this whole mental exercise i end up at the same conclusion, it is only by God’s grace that i am who i am. because the fact is that i am a sinful person by nature. if left to my own i do have a “dark side”. i would be all those things mentioned above. i would be a criminal.
now you may think that’s exaggerating things a bit. after-all there’s plenty of people in the world that are neither Christians nor are they criminals. in fact one may even categorize them as “good people”. while that may be true, and i don’t know for sure that i wouldn’t be a “good person”. i just know that when compared to the greatness of God’s grace, i realize just how pitiful my sin nature is.
so how about you? if you knew you could get away with it, what would you do? what kind of criminal are you?
// today i’m thankful for:
- God’s Grace
- His patience
- His work in me
- living in america
- the olympics (i like watching gymnastics and diving)