My wife and I went to the fair Saturday night and we officially have moved to the south. For me, it was a move back to the south, but for Kara this was a new experience. And being in Kentucky, at the state fair, it was quite the experience. I don’t know of a better place to get the combination of nasty corn dogs, $5 coke in a dixie cup, a 2 ton pig in a bonnet, and mullets. We saw quite a few guys and girls who had perfected the art of the mullet.
Before going to the fair, we recollected some of the great moments from the comedian Bill Engvall’s routine, “Here’s Your Sign.” Engvall can be found touring with other well-known comedians on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. As Engvall is opening up his routine with the fair, he says:
“It was a good year, and we played a lot of state fairs. I’ve got a little tip for you, if you’re ever feelin’ down about yourself go to a state fair and look around!”
He then goes on to describe the hilarity of people’s fair attire and the crazy things that people do at a fair. In thinking about the idea that going to the fair and looking around at people will make someone feel better about themselves, I began to think about how reading and diving into scripture can really make us think and honestly evaluate ourselves. Oftentimes, I can judge myself based on other people and the way that they act and look. By reading God’s Word, I am reminded of my depravity and my incessant need of Christ.
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment.”
Paul reminds us here that we need to think of ourselves both Biblically and humbly, and I believe that when we think of ourselves Biblically we will inevitably begin to think of ourselves in a more humble manner. When scripture speaks of the sinner’s condition, we find words like death, hardness and alienation.
1. Death-”And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)
2. Hardness and Alienation-“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (Ephesians 4:13)
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21)
Paul reminds us of the prophet Isaiah’s writing, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
“None is Righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)
As we look around scripture and find a picture of who we are, we cannot help but stumble on very humbling passages showing our depravity. The great news is that the story unfolds of God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4)
Instead of going to the fair to make you proud you aren’t like a certain person, go to scripture to remind you of your need of a savior, Jesus Christ. It is quite a humbling thing to do. And rest in the fact that, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have been changed and your story has the fingerprints of God’s great grace. That is amazing grace!