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Illustration: Sin, Awareness

Some people have a tough time recognizing themselves as sinners. Joel Hunter tells of a friend who "once found himself in a conversation with a prison inmate who was serving time for robbery. My friend mentioned he recently read in the paper about a man who had robbed a house and killed the family. 'You know,' the inmate replied, 'it's people like that who give robbery a bad name.'

"When my friend remarked that he didn't know it had a good name, the prisoner explained that his kind of robbery wasn't so bad because he only stole from rich people and never harmed them. This is a guy who should be reminded of his own sinfulness every time he hears the metallic slam of the cell door, yet he can tell you with a straight face why he's not so bad. Although he could recognize sin in theory, he could not (or would not) see it in himself."
(from The Journey to Spiritual Maturity: The Challenging Road)