Amidst the serious news today of foiled terror plots and political wrangling, was one item that caught my attention: "When you drop your drugs... in court" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-39738286/when-you-drop-your-drugs-in-court)
It was a video of a man appearing in court in Ohio for a minor traffic violation who accidentally dropped his bag of cocaine at his feet during his hearing. All this was caught on CCTV and there is now a warrant out for his arrest.
There are a variety of adjectives that you could apply to this: stupid, unlucky, careless, unfortunate, guilty! I have to admit that I have some sympathy for him. Not that I approve of drug taking or traffic violations! But that I think that often we reveal more serious issues when we are defending ourselves against lesser charges.
The most common is pride.
Pride is at the root of almost all our sin. It is the attitude that assumes we're right and others are wrong. Including God. It is the attitude that thinks that we are better than others. That when we do something wrong it's not all that serious. But when we are wronged it is a capital offence! And pride is often revealed through the most trivial moments. It rears its ugly head whenever we defend ourselves. Excuse ourselves. When we act as though we are innocent, when our guilt is plain for all to see.
For example say my wife said to me, "You said that you'd read a bed time story to the kids and you've been on your computer all this time." It's a pretty innocuous crime. A minor child rearing violation. But when I reply, "Well I've had a busy day and I just wanted to check the news and see how my sports teams did and you could read them a story instead." Effectively I accidentally drop my drugs. I reveal a heart of pride. A heart that wants to justify itself. A heart that doesn't care that I am not a man of my word.
The Bible warns us that the person who is really deceived when we behave like this is ourselves. The apostle John puts it like this:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
All those excuses just show that we don't really know what we're like. We don't see the truth about ourselves.
The great news is what John says next:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Because Jesus died for all of my pride, all of my broken promises, all of my sin. However serious I feel it is or however trivial. I know that I am forgiven by God and can freely confess to him the depths of my heart.
So the next time you're had up in the courtroom of life for a minor offence, try not to let people see your pride, but rather apologise and ask for forgiveness from God and the person you've offended against.