Sodom’s sins were arrogance, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was haughty and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50)
Relate: Sometimes I can be a bit arrogant. I wish I could say that last statement in all honesty. I can’t. A far more truthful assessment would be to say that I am quite arrogant most of the time. If I wanted I could go along with modern Western culture and dress the truth up in fancy clothing. I could say I have a healthy self-image. I am confident. My seeming pride is really just a by-product of being extroverted. Whatever. The brass tax is that I am arrogant. There is no getting around the truth.
I can also be gluttonous. Just yesterday I treated myself to a nice meal of Iskender (pictured above) before shooting over to Starbucks to do some writing. There I bought myself a venti caramel macchiato. I grabbed a bag of chips and a liter of fuse tea for the commute home. Once I hopped off the Marmaray and was waiting to switch to the bus, I also bought a tavuk doner (chicken gyro… sort of). The Iskender all by itself was more than enough to carry me through the night. Everything else served only to support my mid-level expansion.
I am lazy. I can literally sit for an entire day curled up in a chair with a good book reading while my to-do list goes ignored. I am a master procrastinator and the harder a task might be to accomplish, the more I will put off getting it done.
It is easier to see the needs of those around me that I do nothing about than it ever was in Ezekiel’s time. By “outside her door” Ezekiel was talking about those she (Sodom) had the power to do something about. In our day and age, we have fewer and fewer excuses for not doing something about the needs we see and hear about. Every day I am passing by refugees at multiple intersections, parks, and walk bridges. Because I see them so often, I become blind and calloused to the need they represent.
I am haughty. Where arrogance is an overemphasis of my own supposed greatness, haughtiness is an overemphasis of the weakness or failings in others. Sometimes I feel like I have an internal radar whose sole job is to seek out and exploit any weaknesses I can find in others. Sometimes I think that radar is far, far too good at its job.
React: When I am honest with myself, there is no way I can say anything except, “I am Sodom.” Just as I pointed a mirror of their sins on my own life, I could do the same pointing to how the western culture I was raised in, particularly American culture, is guilty of them all as well.
Jesus did the same when he spoke against the towns he had preached in. He said that it will be worse for them on the day of judgment than for Sodom and Gomorrah. They were a very religious people, but they weren’t followers of Jesus. Sodom had never heard the gospel but Israel did… America has… so have I. The people of Jesus’ time were worse than Sodom. America and most of the Western world today is worse than Sodom. If not for the grace of God, I am worse than Sodom. What about you?
I repent. I am sorry for my arrogance, my laziness, my apathy, and my pride. I am sorry for my sin. Help me to change. Help me to stop being so religious and start becoming a better follower of You. Help me also to stop focusing on the “detestable” sins of others. Instead, help me to focus on Your beauty and holiness. Slowly, gradually, step by step, and day by day I ask that You would let that holiness and beauty be reflected in me that the world will see. Help me to remember that it is Your kindness that leads us to repentance.