4/11/11 Rocky, about 45
A slogan of “law/grace” evangelism is “law to the proud, grace to the humble” – taken from several Bible passages including James 4:6 – “…God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” However, since I don’t know a person’s heart like God does, how do I know when a person is truly humble and ready to hear about God’s grace? I think if I’m wrong – and I’m sure I often am – I’d rather err on the side of grace. However, yesterday, after talking with Rocky - a man I met in front of his home while I walked down the sidewalk – he refused to be convinced of his sin even though we went through some of the ten commandments and he openly admitted his guilt. He still believed he would be found to be “good enough” when standing before God on judgment day. At this point I often ask if people think there is at least a possibility that they would deserve condemnation and most agree, so I proceed to tell them about God’s gift of grace in Jesus. Not so with Rocky. He confidently proclaimed his goodness, slightly mocking any other possibility. I hated to leave the Gospel story half told but I really felt like he would only treat the rest of it like the pearls with the swine that Jesus talked about – he wouldn’t see the value of God’s grace because he didn’t think he needs it. My hope is that his confidence was just a façade, and that from now on every time he breaks one of the commandments we talked about he will be reminded of our conversation and his unforgiven and growing debt of guilt.