“I Wouldn’t Want To Be In His Shoes” 

Have you ever heard that expression? It’s the idea that someone has faced some disaster or is about to and we sure would not want to be in that person’s place. I think about all those folks in Indonesia with the tsunami and the damage and the cleanup afterwards. Or those people in harm’s way — soldiers and civilians — in Iraq.  Man, I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes! 

A friend of mine recently encountered a similar situation concerning religion. In discussing another person, the statement was made, “I sure wouldn’t want to be in his shoes at the judgment.” 

The Bible is quite clear; all of us will one day stand before the creator of this universe and answer for the way we have done things here on this Earth.  (2 Corinthians 5:10) There are no exceptions; the rich, poor, wise and otherwise will all be there. You and I will be there…….. It is also clear that we all transgress God’s law. We sin — some of us more than others! And the “wages,” the payment for our sin, is death…spiritual anathema…. 

There is a story about a very “pious” woman who died and was on her way to heaven. About the same time the town scoundrel died and was on his way, too. Because of his many misdeeds, the way to heaven was not easy for him.  He had to climb a ladder so tall that it reached clear up into the clouds! As he climbed, he was required to make a chalk mark on each rung of the ladder for each sin he had committed.  She saw the man coming back down the ladder and asked; “What are you doing?” And he replied; “I’m coming down for more chalk!” For some of us that story is funny….but not too funny…. because it applies all to well. 

He was a world famous corporate executive. One of his subordinates had a beautiful wife and was frequently out of town on business.  In fact he was a personal “rep” of the executive, who looked at the subordinate’s wife with less than honorable intentions… “He laid his eyes on her,” which led to an affair resulting in a pregnancy. From bad to worse, he engaged the services of an assassin to kill his own representative.

“I’d hate to be in his shoes at the judgment!” 

He was a vicious army commander, renowned for his torture of men and women. He was charged with “putting down” any potential threat from those who practiced a religion other than his. He was good at his job! Even though people ran, he hunted them down, imprisoned many and killed countless others.

“I’d hate to be in his shoes at the judgment!” 

She was different. She was of a different race.  Numerous liaisons with men — with several marriages; she was BAD.  So bad the “church folks” wanted nothing to do with her! I mean, not even to talk to her --- and to chastise those who did!

“I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes at the judgment!” 

She was a “loose woman.” (That’s “preacher-ese” for prostitute — a whore ... wait a minute I can’t say that) ……She was a “loose woman.”  Everybody knew it.

“I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes at the judgment!” 

But God saw them differently than we do. We read with disdain about those flawed people, but God has always used flawed people to His Glory.  If you go back and read again, the stories above are those of David, writer of the Psalms; Paul, the great Apostle; Rahab, the prostitute of Hebrews 11; and the Samaritan woman of John 4.  (Another like her is found in John 8). 

In fact in the “roll call of faith” of Hebrews 11, they are mostly rascals. One drunk — Noah; One wife swapper, Abraham; One thief, Jacob; One murderer, Moses; One prostitute, Rahab; One adulterer, David. These people are so flawed, most wouldn’t be welcome in the back door of most of our churches today! 

Yet when they turned to God, He made them victors in the middle of their own defeat! 

Does that mean that God condoned the sin of David, Rahab and the others?  Certainly not! Paul said:  “Shall we continue to sin so that grace may increase? No, indeed!” (Rom. 6:1)  This is not a defense of David, loose women, Paul or the others!
This is an affirmation of Christ! 

God sent His Son to save us from our sins. (John 3:17) 

Which sin is the sacrifice of Jesus good enough to wash away? 

How much of my “debt” is the blood of Christ good for? 

When I turn to God, how much of my past does he continue to hold against me? 

You are never too bad for Jesus to save you.

You are never so flawed that the power of God will not reach down and lift you up. Our sins are INEXCUSABLE! And that’s the point. He makes the “not good enough,” good enough. He makes the unrighteous, righteous. He justifies the unjust. God never says NO to those who turn to Him and humbly seek Him! 

Frankly, I don’t want to stand in MY shoes before the throne of God either.  I want Jesus to stand there for me. I want Jesus to speak for me! “God, ole’ Jim is terribly flawed, weak, and sinful. He has missed so many opportunities you have given Him. He’s not “good enough” Father, but I love Him anyway…and I died for Him. So put my blood, my goodness, and my sacrifice on his account.” 

Listen to my plea! Don’t stand in your own shoes in the judgment! No matter how “good” you are. (Read Luke 18:10-14) You will never be “good enough” but God will take you and make you better than you ever thought you could be.  It is not too late for the blood of Christ to wash away ALL your sins!
Call me, we’ll talk.   (If you would like to hear the sermon from which this article is taken, it is available at no cost on tape or CD. Order from the church office, 405-784-1380 or e-mail jim@asherchurch.com)  By: Jim Kelly, His Servant.

310 East Main        P.O. Box 37        Asher, OK 74826         405-784-1380