They see me rollin
Patrollin they tryin to catch me ridin dirty
I’m a big fan of Chamillionaire’s song Ridin which was on seemingly everyone’s “it” playlist for a while. This was not necessarily bothersome to me as the CD player in my car took temporary leave of its senses, forcing me to make the dreaded choice between the rather bland and boring selections that LA radio has to offer. One evening after work, a little worse for the wear following a long and tiring day, I got in the car, dropped the top, rolled the windows down and turned on the stereo. As I pulled out of the parking structure onto the street to start my commute I heard the distinct voice of Chamillionaire – They see me rollin ~ They hatin – I hit the volume coaxing every bit of thump out of my decently souped up stereo, then I hit the gas and left the day, with all it’s stresses, behind.
With the sun blazing, wind blowing through the car and Chamillionaire and Krazie Bone bumpin’ in my speakers, I allowed myself to take a little break. It was then that I starting thinking about the chorus of Ridin and was reminded that there are a lot of Christians today who feel it’s their calling in life to be “patrollin” the lives of everyone around them. They remind me of the Pharisee we read about in the Scriptures, standing on the street corner loudly
braying praying about how thankful they are that they aren’t like ____________ [fill in favorite evil doer here]. They’ve scoured the scriptures and made a long laundry list of those things that separate us from God and then they’ve taken the lead in loudly pointing out how horrible those people are who practice such evil doing. They firmly believe that unless they are stepping on people’s toes and offending people that they aren’t really preaching the Gospel.
These people work overtime looking for dirt in other’s lives and when they find it they do two things; first they point it out loudly and then the let you know, equally as loudly that they aren’t like that. They’ve officially organized into the GPD – God’s Police Department – complete with little ticket books, billy clubs and bullhorns. The crazy thing is, they don’t even realize how much they resemble the Pharisee that Jesus told about in the parable related in Luke 18. That Pharisee went into the temple and prayed this prayer:
God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.
Tax collectors were considered the lowest, most despicable people of that day (right down there with lepers) and when the religious leader saw him, he made quite an effort to point out to God and those around how much more holy he was. This tax collector was “ridin dirty” so to speak. He didn’t even feel worthy to lift his eyes up to Heaven. He just asked that God be merciful to him. Jesus said that the tax collector went to his house “justified” but not the religious leader and then Jesus closed out his story this way:
…for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Some believe with all their heart that they are to police sin in everyone’s lives. They are the spotters at the race track, quickly calling it in over the radio for the world to hear. They say that they speak with the voice of God. When it is pointed out to them that they too are sinners, they are quick to point out the very fine print at the bottom of their billing which says “I’m a sinner too” but you’d never know it watching them fire off round after round at people. They are quick to point out just how much of an abomination people are to God.
Yeah, they are out there “patrollin tryin to catch me ridin dirty.” They know everything that the Lord hates and they are quick to point it out in everyone around them. I wonder though just how many people they’ve introduced to God recently? I wonder if they’ve offered a taste of the fountain of life from which one will never thirst again? Yes, I understand that it is much easier to confront the evil in people around us than to confront the evil in ourselves. BUT I wonder what would happen if we each confronted our own demons and sins and allowed others to do the same. Would the peace of God which passes all understanding begin to be seen and began to keep our hearts and minds? I wonder.
As I’ve thought about the GPD, it’s kind of dawned on me how easy it is to become a member. Especially for those of us who have it all together, or at least like to think we do. So, I’m making the determination to focus on working out my own salvation with fear and trembling, as the scritptures instruct, and show the world the light that has invaded my life. It’s not about pointing out the evil in everyone all around me…thanking God I’m not like that…rather, it’s being a light that points the way to a life-changing God.
My prayer is that I remember that God gives grace to the humble but rejects the proud. That I remember that I shouldn’t be a card-carrying member of the GPD tryin to catch folks “ridin dirty.” I think maybe that today is a good day to take a break from “patrollin” and refocus on my mission ~ being His light in my world!