Smug

I waited in the checkout line the other day.  Normally, this is a quietly gratifying time for me.  I benevolently look over the atrocious food selections of other people, grateful that my purchases are all natural, sometimes organic and occasionally locally-sourced.  

The way God intended food to be.
I don’t fault the other people around me.  Lord knows they’re busy.  Some of them don’t know any better.  They haven’t received the many blessings that I have in my life, perhaps.  They can’t be blamed.  I smile at them, musing with great internal satisfaction and giving thanks to God for all He has given me.
But not the other day.
The other day I had three different types of potato chips, a 12-pack of Coca Cola, two quarts of ice cream and a package of hamburger buns.  There was nothing natural at all in my selections.  I grimaced, noting the woman in front of me casting her eyes over my selections.  She had some sort of granola yogurt thing and some fruit.  Very natural.  Healthy.  
I wanted to justify myself.  I wanted to explain that these weren’t all for me.  That we had company and this and that and the other.  I wanted to justify my selections so badly I literally had to bite my tongue.  I’m biting it still, wanting to provide for you, dear reader, evidence that I’m not really like that.  
But I am.
Only by the grace of my wife do I eat relatively healthy.  I wouldn’t eat nearly as well without her guidance.  While I don’t buy much of that stuff, I still like it even though I know it’s terrible for me.  It is who I am.  I am really like that.  
Transition to application
I suspect we’re all like this to varying degrees.  We want to be known for our best attributes, our shining moments, our instances where we’re firing on all cylinders and being the stand-up people we know we should be.  But the danger lies in assuming that those moments – and the good will that they often generate from the people around us – are the whole story.  It’s easy to presume that that’s really who we are, better-than-average folk.  And when we’re caught in the midst of sin, in the act of being less than we know we should be, we want to justify.  This isn’t the real me.  I’m not really like this.  Our smugness devolves into defensiveness.
I need to be saved from my delusions of grandeur, and I suspect one or two others might as well.  Perhaps even one of you, dear readers.  This is the hope of the resurrection.  That the good person I like to think myself to be, I am declared as.  Made into.  Not by my efforts, to be sure.  Those are still shot through with sin and artificial flavors and all nature of genetically modified weirdness.  I carry this dual identity until I die – 100% natural, organic, grass-fed, and at the same time about as plastic and fabricated as a $3 bill.  
Only in the miracle of Easter morning and the resurrection of the Son of God from the dead do I have the assurance that one day I will have only and exclusively the first identity, and that my secondary (more pronounced) identity will be burned away.  I won’t have to juggle this dichotomy forever.  I will have peace, because I already have forgiveness.  Not because I justified and explained myself adequately, but because the Son of God came to do what I could never do on my own.  
He Is risen! 
He Is risen indeed!  Hallelujah!
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