Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Ever hear the expression, “My bad?” It’s a phrase used to apologize for making a mistake without really apologizing. Someone spills coffee on a friend’s shirt or turns up late for a meeting and exclaims, “My bad.” No real responsibility is taken to right the wrong. It just happened and hopefully won’t happen again seems to be the general thinking behind the term. An apt phrase for a society light on taking personal responsibility. We think if we believe there’s no such thing as sin, then we can’t be sinners.
It’s one of many delusions infiltrating our culture. Dr. Keith Ablow writes about how a combination of technology and media is producing a “generation of deluded narcissists.” He explains how Facebook, Twitter, computer games and reality TV are turning young people into “faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.” Ablow observes that because false pride cannot be sustained, the bubble of narcissism will inevitably burst, generating an epidemic of depression, suicide and unprecedented hatred toward self and others.
Although I agree with Ablow’s assessment of how technological advances have accelerated the problem, love of self and avoidance of responsibility has been alive and well on the planet since Cain slew Abel. The solution lies not in avoiding 21st century innovation but in acknowledging the timeless truth: man doesn’t just do bad; we are bad. Until we understand that, it’s impossible to find the good.
We will never be able to compensate for our “bad.” No amount of charitable works, successes or “likes” on social media can substitute for true repentance. It takes something radical to wake us up from the stupor of our self-justifications. Something which penetrates the heart of our sinful nature. Something so powerful that it both drives us to our knees and lifts us to the “highest plane.”
Jesus said we had to be “born again.” There’s no other way to get rid of “our bad.”