I was absolutely shocked a couple of weeks ago when I heard that a large metropolitan city in Ohio was going to lower the bar for passing an entry exam for those applying for the police force! Why? Not enough ethnic diversity!
The Justice Department is demanding that the city lower its passing score for a police exam to allow for a larger pool of black applicants, while the city argues it is trying to ensure it hires the most qualified candidates. Please understand that I am not a bigot or racist. I believe whole-heartedly in equal opportunity. But lowering the bar to allow for more ethnic diversity is ridiculous!
Think about it for a minute in the health field. Would you prefer greater ethnic diversity in your local group of surgeons if it came at the expense of not having the most qualified doctors operating on you or a loved one? Not me! I don’t care what color his or her skin is so long as they are the most qualified.
As disturbing as this sort of thing is in the arena of public service agencies, it is even more disturbing and destructive in the realm of those who claim to be Jesus followers. Too often we use God’s grace as an excuse for not living as Jesus did.
At the end of Romans chapter 5 Paul states that wherever sin increased [under the Old Covenant] grace increased all the more. Grace trumps sin every time, but Paul knew that some would use that as an excuse to sin. So he offers this rhetorical challenge at the beginning of chapter 6.
So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! ~ Romans 6:1-3 (The Message)
God didn’t lower the bar but sent Christ Jesus who alone was able to satisfy the standard of holiness demanded by the Father. And by His grace we are exempt from the exam! But by that same grace God intends for us to become more holy as we participate with the Holy Spirit in becoming…
…more like Jesus!