There is a saying that he that comes to equity, must come with clean hands. Of course, we all know that this has implications and connotative meanings in different religions. However, when relating that saying to contextual Christian explanations, one is forced to see things from the book of Matthew 7 v 1-2, which says “Judge not, so that ye may not be judged. For the same way you judge others, ye will be judged, and the measure you use will be used upon you.” This particular verse of the Bible mirrors on our imperfection, even as humans and why it is better that we do not judge others because we are by our very nature; imperfect beings too.
Unfortunately for many of us especially when reading about certain Bible characters, we forget that the characters were also humans. As expected, like the flawless humans we assume we are, we make demeaning references to these Bible characters like if put in their shoes, we are not capable of doing the exact same thing or worse.
If You Were Ananias or Sapphira
A lot of analogies in the Bible have so many people casting aspersions like they would not. Take a look at the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts of the Apostles chapter 5 1-11; in that portion of the Bible, one would easily see that asides holding back some portion of the piece of land that they had sold, they were also keen on emulating the good act of selling their piece of land as Barnabas did. Sadly, they lied to the Holy Spirit and were struck dead.
Many Christians in our clime make allusions to them like they are not also guilty of what they did. The book of Malachi 3v 11 says that when we pay our tithes, He will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. In the direct interpretation of that verse of the Bible, payment of tithes is more or less like a command for Christians, but many of us do not pay our tithes because we have some worries or more pending things to spend money on. We get it, it is not all that bad, but look at the act of not paying tithes viz a viz the wrongdoing of Ananias and Sapphira? Why do we paint these two bible characters so badly while preaching against disobedience?
The couple made a move to remit some of the money at least unlike most Christians. Ten percent of our earnings is what the Bible asked us to pay, many of us don’t pay half of that and we still have the guts to cast aspersions on them like we are completely untouchable.
If You Were Judas
Another example is the story of how Judas betrayed Jesus in John 18 v 1-13, for thirty pieces of silver. Many Christians often talk about how wrong an act it is that Judas did, totally unlooking the part where he showed genuine repentance. Judas was remorseful and this led him out of shame to commit suicide. The only aspect that many people see is where he betrayed Jesus; many do not see the aspect where he tried returning the money he had collected and also his shame (evidence of his genuine repentance).
Many of us Christians look the part only when it is convenient for us. Think about it, If you had to pick between a job that will pay you five million (Naira or dollars) each month or spending genuine time with God in his vineyard, which would you pick? The logical answer is the former, right? Because a job of that nature is not one that comes on a daily basis, also considering your everyday needs and the fact that you will need to sort some bills. Judas spent more time with Jesus, he was a Disciple, the only wrong he did was fall for the lust of money for a moment and he was truly sorry. Despite all of these, many of us still choose to see him in light of how he betrayed Jesus, only!
If You Were Jonah
The biblical Jonah is another one. In the book of Jonah 1 v 1-17, we are made to see how God called Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh about the imminent destruction that would befall them. If there is anything that we must know about God, it is that He gives a long rope to pull before he finally spews his wrath. This is the thinking of any human, and Jonah also had that premonition that when he goes to Nineveh to inform the people, they would repent and God wouldn’t destroy them, afterward.
This means, his journey or stress to the city of Nineveh would end in futility. This made him run away. We all know how that story ended, but many times we think about Jonah as one of those examples of those prophets who didn’t hearken to the command of God, but the punchline is, given the exact same circumstance and our conscious understanding of the personality of God, wouldn’t we have done the exact same thing that Jonah did? Does this then give us the right to ascribe Jonah as one of those names that didn’t hearken early to the voice of God? No!
If You Were Abraham
In contrast to these flawed and imperfect humans from the Bible’s perspective, the story of Abraham perhaps would be the direct confrontation for many of us. In Genesis 22, God ordered Abraham to take his only son that it took him forever to have. Guess what? Abraham did that, or better put he was on the verge before God halted the mission. This makes him compliant right? You claim to be Christians, but if you are called upon God to carry out the same mission instructed to Abraham, would you? if you are called upon to give all that you have gathered in years for a pauper or live a beggarly life for Jesus, would you?
Would You Still Be Alive?
My conclusion is, as much as it is easy to read up the Bible as well as find our path with it, let us not forget that the Bible characters whose stories are told were also humans. They were as imperfect as we are now. The major difference between then and now is that God spoke directly to them and was quick to carry out his wrath against their disobedience. If it were the same today, would you still be alive? I’ll leave you with a reflective verse from 1 Samuel 2 v 9; it says …by strength shall no man prevail…, and so what we should pray for is the grace to be firm, rather than cast aspersion on who fell or who was upright with God.