This afternoon at Denny’s I watched a man order a breakfast special. It came with a large stack of pancakes, a strip of bacon and a pile of scrambled eggs. He was in my natural range of vision so I could watch as he put syrup on his pancakes. Wow did he put on syrup. He poured and poured and then poured some more. He ended up with a little bit of pancake with his syrup. Then he picked up the salt shaker for his eggs after he scarfed down his bacon. He salted and salted and then salted some more. He looked to be about my age and I could not imagine how he had lived so long if he always ate like that. Then I thought maybe he is in his twenties and just looks my age.
When I pondered the definition of sin being anything that harms you or another, I had to conclude that I watched him sin. But he would have said, “I didn’t break any of the Ten Commandments.” And I would have said, “Yes, you did. You were in the process of killing yourself.” If we limit our definition of sin to the breaking of the Ten Commandments we have missed the principle under-girding the Commandments. The principle is to do no harm. He harmed.
So very piously I sat there mentally condemning this man while I thoroughly enjoyed my large chocolate milkshake down to the very last possible sip. I am such a hypocrite. Jesus would have said to me, “Judge not, that you be not judged. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Written by Roger Bothwell on November 9, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Bo 124, St. Helena, CA 94574