Brian Regan, a comedian, has a stand up bit about the “me-monster”,” that obnoxious person at a dinner party who insists on talking about his or her accomplishments and insists on one-upping any other person’s story. Reegan wonders during the bit “what is it about the human condition, people get something out of that?” (2:39 in the linked video) It’s a prescient question.
I’d like to take the question a bit further. Why do people get something out of that same one-upmanship when it comes to forgiveness from God? “Oh you were forgiven for what you did? Well I did this! There’s no way He’d forgive me.” The me-monster strikes again. Something about that perversity in the human condition makes it more satisfying to win the one-up competition than acknowledge that God can actually forgive whatever it is you did. And I do mean whatever.
Or maybe it’s that you actually struggle to believe you could be forgiven and the me-monster persona is simply a bold face on an empty and fearful soul. Whether it is genuine braggadocio or a false front, the persona is pride. It is a statement that your sin, whatever it might be, has one-upped God’s grace.
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