I think Jesus liked hanging out with ‘sinners’ (quotes intentional) because they were real — at least they were cognizant of their stuff.
Those he said were numb to his teachings were the ones who thought they were righteous (in an earthly, hierarchical sense).
Self-aware sinners are motivated by their pain. They’re at least somewhat open to change, healing, and renewal.
The pious, on the other hand, stay stuck because they remain unaware of their blind spots.
When we notice ourselves continually pointing our finger at the ‘sinners’ over there — that’s when we should take a stark look in the mirror.
This isn’t about blame of self or others. Because the blame game is never a fruitful one. When you think you’re doing everything right, but ‘they’ are in the wrong, it’s a good sign to start looking within.
It’s not about whether they’re ‘wrong’ or not, it’s about the game you’re playing.
[Trust me, this one is — as usual — for me as much as it is for you, dear reader 😉]
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