All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Proverbs 16:2
Over the years I have met a lot of folks in prison who claimed to be innocent of any wrong doing. Most of the time I’ve been unable to tell whether they are telling the truth or not.
That is not the case for a group of four boys whose story was carried last week by Reuters. According to the Winnipeg police, the 16- and 17-year-old boys stole a car.
Stealing a car is not something a person generally does by accident.
It certainly wasn’t the first time these boys had borrowed someone else’s wheels without permission. Only a short time before they had been found guilty of stealing cars and had been sentenced to attend a counseling program—a program designed to help car thieves learn it’s wrong to take autos that don’t belong to them.
According to the police, the boys were going to their counseling meeting when they took their most recent car. A local newspaper suggested the boys had stolen the car because the –40-degree wind chill weather made it “too cold to walk”.
This all goes to prove the words of Proverbs are correct: We sinful human beings always have an excuse for the wrong things we do. In the Garden of Eden Adam blamed his wife; Eve blamed the snake.
We all can come up with extenuating circumstances for our sinful conduct. Unfortunately, when our extenuating circumstances are placed in the light of God’s perfection, they simply don’t justify our wrongdoing.
Scripture is clear: God has weighed every one of us—our spirits and our hearts—and has found them wanting and worthy of nothing other than condemnation.
Because we have no excuse is why we need a Savior. Because our hearts are incurably evil is why the heavenly Father sent His Own Son into this world to live for us, carry our sins for us, suffer, and die—so that we might be ransomed.
Jesus’ pure heart was judged instead of ours, His Spirit instead of ours. His is a sacrifice we need to share with all those who think their best hope is to come up with more and better excuses.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord I confess my sins and offer no excuse for my transgressions. At the same time, I praise You for having sent Your Son who gave Himself as a substitute for me a sinner. May all humanity join in thanksgiving for Your grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries