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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by William A. Kolb

Monday, October 11

There is no one righteous, not even one.
—Romans 3:10

There are many in our world today who have turned against organized religion. One major “turnoff” has been preaching that teaches about the passage above and others like it. The bottom line of all these teachings is that “we are sinners.” Oh how that rankles!

Another example that comes to mind is “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Same message: We aren’t what we ought to be. No wonder millions of young people today move from their birth denomination to one they prefer, with “contemporary” worship, music and message—or they move to no religious affiliation at all.

But I have a very different “take” on passages and teachings like these. First and foremost, I know that I am, in fact, not all I want to be. Who has not burned a loved one with quick words of anger? Who has not had thoughts that, if turned into actions, would make them ashamed? We are never all we could be. These are manifestations of our being human. We are all human, so none of us is perfect. That is all that those preachers are saying, but they often put it in ways that close our minds and spirits to them before they hardly get their message out.

We see, then, that there is some truth in these teachings; what I call “being human” they call “sinner.” I may not like the way they put it, but I cannot deny that there is truthfulness in what they say.

So where does that leave me—knowing, deep down, that there are things about me that I wish were better? Here’s the good news: God already knows about those things too. This is true of every single person on the planet. God knows we “sin” and loves us, even when we don’t love ourselves God loves every single person on the planet. I am God’s beloved, precious child—bad behavior and all.   

Lord, thank you for the gift of life and the gift of your love. Nurture me with your love. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.