What came first, the chicken or the egg? Is one of those questions children ask that shows the interrelatedness of two issues. You cannot have a chicken as it comes from an egg but the egg comes from the chicken! Faith that is so private, it cannot be known does not seem real. Often to defend our faith, we turn to the two thieves on the crosses with Jesus.
Luke 23:39-43 “39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him (Jesus) and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The thieves were at the point of death and had no way to live out their beliefs further. One ridicules and one pleads for mercy. The latter acknowledges his guilt and pleads to be remembered. “Today” is the response from Jesus. “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Faith looks not to the works of our hands but to the state of our heart. Comparisonitis, looking at my track record of deeds is always discouraging. The good I hope I did, never outruns the list of uncompleted or forgotten deeds I should of, could of, might of done. Sola Fidelis, faith alone, reminds me that God looks at my heart while people evaluate my deeds. I find that comforting. If I were to be grilled before the USA about every word I have written, every decision I have passed down as a parent, about my philosophy of parenting, I fear the grilling. Jesus turns to the thief and to us as we know we have not done things right and says, “today.” Thank you, Lord.