Summary: This message is about repentance and the three games people play to keep from repenting.
Don’t Play Games
As many of you know, I received a really cool sewing machine for my birthday. It has the ability to embroider designs on material. I have been playing with the machine since I got it. I now can make some really cool designs. But it did not start that way. Let me show you some of my mistakes. This was my first try, see how bad it looks. This is what I call my blue shirt, because the longer I work on it bluer I became.
Then a few days ago, I really messed up. I sewed the sleeve of my shirt to the front of my shirt. You didn’t, YES I did. I sewed the loom into the shirt. I had to cut the shirt apart to get me loom back. I really messed up. I make a mistake. I had to change how I was doing things. I needed a restart.
Just because I made mistakes, does not mean my time sewing is over. I did not do two things, 1. I did not quit sewing, put away my machine, and throw up my hands in dispare. 2. I did not continue to do things the way I have always done it before, I had to change.
I have found in life there are people who know the direction they are going is not the right one. But still they don’t change. They are like me, they have sewn their loom into their shirt, but instead they continue to do what they have always done. I ask why.
Did you Jesus talked about this, he said they are three games they play. Jesus dealt with these three games in this passage.
Don’t Play the COMPARISON game
Luke 13:2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
I love this story. Jesus is surrounded by thousands of people. Some of them come to him and tells him about some Galileans who were put to death in Jerusalem, in the temple, and Pilate’s soldiers slaughtered them while they were making their animal sacrifices. They blood then mixed with the blood of the sacrifices.
The people who came to him were implying that these people died because they were really bad people.
Look at how Jesus handled this game.
2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Jesus said, The people who died are not any better, or worse than you are.
There were falling for the old comparison game. You have heard it, so have I. In all honesty, I have said it before. Have you heard this before, “I know I am not perfect, but I am not as bad as other people.”
We think that we can justify our actions by looking around and finding someone we see as not as good as us.
Have you noticed that when we play the comparison game, we never compare ourselves to the best, holiest, most loving person we know. Why, because then we would have to be honest and say, “I’m not living up that that model.” If you were to ask the best, holiest, and most loving person you know about how good they are, they would, no doubt say, I am not good. Only God is good.
You see the comparison game is a game where you always lose. Jesus said, “ But unless your repent, you too will all perish.”
He said this not once, but twice here. Why did he stress repentance?
Because Jesus knew we all need a re-start. We all need to start over at times.
I was driving from Ithaca to the Brethren Home to visit with some of our members this week. I had a sermon by Andy Stanley of the radio, and was just driving and listening. I was really into the sermon and turned on the wrong road. I turned onto 722 and kept driving. As you know 722 did not take you to Greenville, or to the Brethren Home. I realized a few miles down the road, I was going the wrong way. What did I do? I turned around. I made a three point turn on the road, and returned to 503. I realized that if I kept going, I would not end up where I wanted to go. Repentance means to stop, turn around, and start again.