Jackson Five Friday: On Being a Wretch

Happy Friday Friends!

I hope you’ve had a marvelous short week — what a gift it is for Friday to come so quickly!

Sometimes I wonder if the lyrics to Amazing Grace are so familiar that they lack their deserving punch. I mean do we ever stop to truly identify ourselves as wretched?  Imperfect?  Well, maybe, we are human after all.  But I think if we are honest — and many are not — we can all sing, believing with gratitude, that it is only by grace that God “saved a wretch like me.”

You only have to glance at any newspaper to see people claiming to be downright saintly in spite of a mountain of wretch-like evidence.  In contrast, self-proclaimed wretches are often pointed at by a throng of judging fingers and labeled hypocrites with permanent ink.  The lack of logic is almost as befuddling as the lack of humility.  So many willing first-stone throwers!

I pray my sons will make wise decisions, and I hope they will never point judging fingers, or be so disillusioned by pride to think they aren’t wretched.  Because I know them.  I know myself.  I know their dad.   I can assure you, we are all wretched.  The wretched Jackson Five!  It doesn’t have much of a ring, other than it’s 100% true.  Of course we also happen to be children of the One True King, and He adores us with an unquenchable love that will never end, no matter what.  So we’ve got that going for us!

But honestly, I do think being able to laugh at yourself is a small part of having a posture of humility.  Humility is obviously necessary to give your life to Christ (“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;,in all his thoughts there is no room for God” Proverbs 10:4).  And prideful people don’t laugh at themselves.  So it follows that laughing at yourself is actually vitally important.

My son Nate and I had an interesting little exchange the other night.  He was writing an essay about the Chesapeake Bay.  He wrote some silly sentence that was not established by the facts presented,

When I read the sweeping claim back to Nate, he got so amused at himself!   I didn’t even need to tell him that his sentence might be overwrought, just hearing me read it back struck him as downright hilarious.  Ahh, that darling teachable spirit, so willing to laugh at his own expense!

Lord Jesus, may Nate always be this way!  And not just about essay writing but in other areas, where he’s more inclined to point fingers and lay blame. May I too be humble and teachable and easily amused, even at my own misgivings.  

May each of us know, deep down, that we are wretched, and that Your Grace is AMAZING. 

Have a great weekend, friends, soaking up the sweet sound of grace.



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