Whether we recognize it or not, we live in a society that is constantly involved in group warfare. Everyone is placed in a group and thinks the other group is worse. Conservatives talk about liberals, Democrats about Republicans, poor about rich, southerners about northerners, Christians about non-Christians, and on the list could go; not to mention reversing each of the groups who are giving and receiving. It is easy to get caught up with who is “worse” than us, so much so that oftentimes we forget the group of people that is the worst in all the world. Who is that, you ask? Quite simply, we are.
Now before someone gets their righteous indignation up with an, “how dare you” remark, let me explain who “we” includes. “We” includes every person of an accountable age in this world. “We” includes the Christian and the non-Christian. “We” includes the one with the most and the one with the least. “We” holds within its grasp humanity as a whole. “We” are the worst people in the world.
The apostle Paul wrote, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10-11). There is not a single person on this earth who is better than anyone else. There is none greater, mightier, or holier, because we are all in the same boat: we are sinners. Paul sums it up in one statement, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Vs. 23).
We are all the worst because we have all sinned, and all sins are the same. No, they are not the same from the standpoint of the perceptible consequences of the sin. They are not the same in the impact they have on our lives, nor in the impact they have on the lives of others. They are not the same in the way they damage our influence or reputation. But they are all the same in the greatest and most important category of all: they all separate us from God. I find it interesting that in almost every list of sins that will bring condemnation in the New Testament, there are listed internal sins (attitudes), social sins (unjust actions), and sexual sins. None is grouped to the side and stated to be worse than the rest.
There is no man who can boast that he is better than any other man, because any man, by himself, is only one thing: lost. Paul would continue his discussion by stating, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded” (Vs. 27). There is no individual who can point to anyone else and state that they are the problem without also looking at himself; because with every problem faced by mankind on this earth it begins with the same starting point: sin.
It should be with all the thanksgiving in the world that mankind recognizes that there is a solution for sin: the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul continued by stating, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Vs. 24-26). It is only by the justification of the blood of Christ that man can once again become acceptable before God. But even this does not make us better than the rest of mankind, for we have still sinned, and will continue to make mistakes and errors in our lives. The greatness is in the power, grace, and mercy of God available through Christ, not in men.
“We” are, without a doubt, the worst people in the world. Even the apostle who penned the words of Romans considered himself the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). Thanks be to God that we have a means of alleviating that burden; but let us reconsider next time before we talk about how bad someone else is, for we all need that salvation. Maybe instead we need to focus on what they could be.