They show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them. Romans 2:15
I remember many years ago when a book came out which assured its readers that "I'm okay and you're okay."
The book sold a lot of copies. It managed to do so in spite of the fact that the presence of sin guarantees we're not okay with the Lord. For our sins, our Creator is rightly, and justly, displeased.
Now, a study published by the journal Psychological Science has concluded that thinking positively about yourself can be a bad thing.
Yes, you read that correctly. When people try to think positively, it often has the opposite effect, and it highlights just how unhappy they really are.
I'm thinking that this study, which says people are not content with themselves, might be headed in the right direction.
Consider all the rich, famous, powerful, and sensational personalities featured on the evening news, or who make the front pages of magazines and supermarket tabloids. How many of those folks who have everything the rest of humanity aspires to possess seem happy?
They can't sleep; they can't maintain a relationship. They aren't obviously happy, are they?
The truth is all of us are sinners and we know it. Even the best of us -- the ones who are the kindest, the gentlest, the most loving among us -- are still bad to the core. That's what St. Paul was saying when he wrote to the Church at Rome. He said we may look good on the outside, but on the inside our conscience is busy accusing and excusing.
Truly, if we're ever going to be okay, that transformation is not going to come from anything we can do. If we are going to be made right with God, if we are to receive any peace, it will only be when it is given to us as a gift from the Almighty.
Thankfully, through Jesus, that gift has already been given. The Savior's life, His death, and His resurrection tell all who will listen that salvation is free for all who believe.
God grant the world to believe, be forgiven, and be made okay.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am saved by grace through faith and not by what I can do or even the way I think. Let me -- having seen the Savior's sacrifice -- believe, be forgiven, and remain saved. Further, may those who are still desperately searching for what Jesus so freely offers, be brought to faith in His gracious substitution. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries