“In spite of thunderous warnings delivered from well-pounded pulpits, our self-centeredness seems to generate few bad consequences. And every youngster knows that shouting can be easily endured if there are no spankings.
“God seems in no hurry. For now, it appears we can live self-centeredly and not pay a price.
“But we can interpret God’s delay in two ways: either our sin doesn’t really offend Him a great deal or ‘…He is patient with [us], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’ (2 Peter 3:9).
“In our fallen way of thinking, we strongly favour explaining withheld judgment in terms of divine indifference. If God, the ultimate standard of morality Who has the power to punish and reward, is not all that bothered by our self-centered ways, then we can carry on with whatever makes us feel good without worrying about punishment for wrongdoing and without giving up our good opinion of ourselves…
“The truth is we can continue with our everyday failings, at least for a time, without being struck by lightning. And the unpleasant things that happen seem evenly distributed between good and bad people.
“And when we look after ourselves, better things often do come our way. God’s unhurried ways can encourage us to think casually about our ongoing struggle with sin…
“Having dismissed our selfishness as a relatively benign disorder, we are free to keep our focus on what really matters to self-centered people: the immediate quality of our lives. Finding a way to heal our wounds and to restore a sense of personal wholeness continues to be a far more pressing concern than knowing the escape route from judgment and worshipping the One Who provided it.
“And the disease continues unchecked, ruining relationships and carrying us toward certain judgment.”
– from “God’s Unhurried Ways” by Larry Crabb; pg. 1207, Zondervan’s Men Devotional Bible, NIV, ©1993