When I’m Bad to the Bone

February 21, 2023 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Dawn Wilson –


Why, oh why, did I sit in the front row?

One Sunday, eager to hear a long-time friend preach in my church, I came early to sit in the front row. My husband is something of a “back-row believer,” and I usually sit with him; but since Bob was out of the country, I got a front-row opportunity!

My seat was saved, but then I came in a little late after waiting for my preacher friend’s wife to finish up at their book table. The congregation finished a stirring song as I settled into my pew.

My friend smiled from the platform to see me so obviously “in place” to hear his message, and then plunged into a powerful message from the book of Revelation.

Then suddenly, from down near my feet, came the raunchy music of a tune by George Thorogood and the Destroyers—“Bad to the Bone!” In the late rush to my seat, I’d failed to shut off my phone before putting it in my purse.

It was a call from my husband. He’d forgotten the time difference from Guatemala to California, and his bad boy ring tone blasted out strong. (No, I will not tell you why Bob has that ring tone!)

My friend didn’t miss a beat. He kept preaching. But I’d swear he glared in my direction. To be honest, he may have been intense about his message on the anti-Christ and the end times, his topic for the evening. But as I scrambled for my phone, shut it down and cringed in my seat, I felt like members of the congregation were searching for 666 on my forehead!

All but my friend’s wife. She erupted into a geyser of giggles. My preacher friend glared again.

I felt “bad to the bone” that night. But not the wild kind of bad to the bone. More like the humiliated, “I’m so terribly messed up” sort of bad.

It’s not the first time I’ve been embarrassed by worse behavior than that. And before you point a finger, remember:  the Bible says there is “no good thing” in our flesh (Psalm 14:2-3; Romans 7:18a). Our fleshly “goodness” is like “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6).

Before we receive the Lord Jesus, we are “sons of disobedience,” spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1-3). We are helpless and hopeless without Him, desperate and needing rescue. But (praise God) while we were yet sinners—while we were bad to the bone—Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

God, in His good grace, planned not only for our “bad to the bone” moments, but also our alienation from Him. Our holy God wants a relationship with us, and the only way He can do that is to transform us to the core—to make us righteous in Christ. In truth, Jesus is our only hope (1 Timothy 1:1).

In Christ, we are justified and positionally holy (Titus 3:5-7; Romans 3:21-26), and someday we will be like Him, glorified and perfected, for we will “see Him as He is” (Philippians 3:21; Romans 8:30; 1 John 3:2-3). But in the meantime, we can partner with God in our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 5:23; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:21).

We don’t have to be victims of Satan’s “bad to the bone” agenda for our lives. We were created for so much more.

About Dawn Wilson

Dawn Wilson (www.heartchoicesministries.com; www.heartchoicestoday.blogspot; www.LOLwithGod.com)—co-author of LOL with God: Devotional Messages of Hope and Humor for Women—writes for Christian Examiner and two national ministries. She equips women to make godly choices, and encourages evangelical women in leadership. She delights in God, her husband Bob, three granddaughters, and a pup named Roscoe.
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