For all that can be said negative about Kane- the first murderer- in the book of Genesis, a lack of wit and audacity can not be one of them. In one of the most ironic stories of the whole Bible Kane rebuked God himself with the rhetorical and satirical question, "Am I my brother's keeper"? Clearly implying he was not and avoiding the obvious implications of God's inquiry. We are not told how the story fully played out, but I am sure if God did answer his snide question it would be an emphatic "yes"!
One of the biggest criticisms in avoiding church is that it is full of liars, hypocrites, and hateful/unmerciful judges. If this logic were applied across the board, no one would step foot in gyms in the fear of seeing obese patrons. Additionally, no sick person would ever visit a hospital, as one is bound to encounter other ailing souls. It is precisely for the reason why Christians are so hurtful and hateful in their actions that they are in need of the loving care of the ultimate physical: Christ Jesus Himself, pretending otherwise sets us up for fail.
My missions motto is simple: "reaching in, reaching out". This most basic anthem proclaims that if anyone is in need of change, it is first and foremost me. Along my journey with Christ, I have had more failures than successes. I distinctively remember my first year, and failing the test of righteousness at least 8-9 times out of 10 tests. As the years have passed I can soundly say I have increased maybe at the rate of 1-2 more triumphs each year. And still, on even my best days, I can hope to hit the mark a 7-8, if I am lucky- but these are sporadic at best. If this trend continues, I can well hope to be batting some solid numbers consistently in the next few years, but perhaps perfection will always be out of reach.
Like the whack-a-mole game, I have found that sin is next to impossible to defeat completely. Once you smack one area about, another area appears seemingly out of no where. Mind you, this may merely be a point of perspective. For instance, an alcoholic may discover he has an anger problem once he is sober. However, that problem may have always existed, but the fixation on getting sober may in fact totally eclipse and overshadow other sins. The more we rid ourselves of unrighteousness, the more we realize how much more work we actually got to do. This should be the sincere journey of anyone truly seeking to find God or make any spiritual progress. The great thinker Socrates declared he knew nothing, and this is truly understood in comparing what we currently know to how much knowledge/progress is actually available.
In our walks with God and attempting to reach the lost, honesty is always the best policy. I can say as a recovered alcoholic, beyond any reasonable doubt that the 12 steps of substance abuse recovery make perfect sense in regard to other sins: recognize we are helpless to help ourselves and God alone can restore us. Once we make this basic proclamation, we can begin to submit and surrender our will, desires and intentions over to him. It is only here where we can begin to seek lasting change that will steam roll this world that seems to be more and more irreparably damaged and straying even further from the light. For the lost to know this truth, we must be emphatic when applying it also to ourselves!
When we start with our own specks, however big or small they might be, we give a good example to those who still need to confront sin in their eyes. By doing so, we also demonstrate a humility to seek change, and be proper stewards of God's amazing grace. Refusing to acknowledge sin, becoming defensive, and worse justifying actions, give a terrible precedence that will ultimately undermine our message and collapse the whole foundation of the gospel. Starting first and foremost with ourselves, we show that change is possible and fully acknowledge that we are still works in progress. This vulnerability and honesty disarms the defensive and paves the way for a rich harvest of embracing Christ, and also a crop of souls just waiting for a message of consistency. In doing so, we set a foundations for fertile growth and become, emphatically so, our brother's keeper.