Friday, November 19, 2010

Out There

I have recently started following two new people on twitter that are constantly challenging me and pointing me to the truth. I swear, both these guys must get paid to sit around and think up amazing great twitter size sermons and insightful blogs that they link to! It is non stop. Here are a couple from Pastor Tullian:
Those who get better are those who realize that their relationship to God doesn't depend on them getting better.
When you understand that your significance and identity is anchored in Christ, you don’t have to win – you’re free to lose.
And here are a couple from Jared Wilson:
Becoming captured by the all-surpassing glorious vision of Jesus Christ will solve both legalism problems and license problems.
What wondrous light this gospel gives. It exposes my condition but covers my shame.
 But this is the one that grabbed my attention the other day with a link to this blog post:
Mature Christians are those who realize the depth of their brokenness and cling all the more tightly to Jesus.
A short summary of the post is this: It is a honest conversation between an average dude who loves Jesus and a man who identifies himself as a transexual named Ryan, that is looking for acceptance. The dude who loves Jesus just got real honest with Ryan and blatantly confessed his own sin.  Here is how he said it: 
“Ryan, do you want to know about me? I am a control freak. I like to have everything under my power. I like to put myself in the place of God and manage the outcomes. I am rude and harsh toward my wife and kids. I am judgmental when people don’t live up to my standards. I fail to love people the way Jesus does. I love people on my terms, the way I think they deserve to be loved, based on my criteria. I am uncaring and critical and resentful toward those who don’t see things my way. I bow down and sell my soul every day to the idol of Control. Ryan, I am a sinner, and Jesus is my only hope.”
How refreshing to read! It was so encouraging to me, as a follower of Jesus, to hear someone else confess struggles and sin. It reminded me of a conversation I had this summer.  

I was talking with a girlfriend and the topic moved to weight.  We were both confessing a need to get in better shape and diet/exercise etc. You know the conversation.  Then I confessed how much I weighed. Exactly.  My friend was shocked.  She could not believe I "was so out there with my numbers!" My immediate response back was, "Well it's all there whether you know the numbers or not!" We both laughed.

Just being out there with who and where we are.  Makes me think of James 5:16 which says this:
"Therefore confess your sins one to another." 
The truth is our messes are all there whether we own up to them or not. Here is another segment from the same blog.
The gospel is not the ABC’s of Christianity; it is the A to Z of Christianity. When we forget the gospel, we cheat our disciples. We give the impression that being a follower of Jesus means becoming less broken, less sinful, less hopeless. So we create a caste-system-Christianity: there are the really broken people (unbelievers), the pretty broken people (young believers), and the people who have learned to pretend they’re not broken (mature believers).
 Not only is this blatantly unbiblical, it is contrary to common sense. Jesus said that those who are forgiven much will love much (Luke 7:47). The mature Christians are not those who are less broken, but those who realize the depth of their brokenness and are clinging all the more tightly to Jesus.
1 John 1:8-9 says If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What great truth! He is faithful. And He forgives. And to not confess means I'm living in a lie, deceived.  And I just don't have time for that any more.

So here is my confession.  And since we aren't in a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation, I will ditto the dude above who loves Jesus, and tell you that I bow down every day and sell my soul to the idol of Self Love in the forms of pride and insecurity.  Worrying so much about what people think and if they approve.  Trying to make sure I am not like this bad example or like that bad experience.  Wondering how I'm being perceived and thought of.  All the while deceiving myself to The Truth that is in me - I have all the love I need in Christ! He has given me all His acceptance and approval, and He gives it to me freely! There is great depth to my brokenness.  I too, am a sinner and Jesus is my only hope!

So whether you knew my stuff or not, it's all there. But when I confess it, I stop deceiving myself.  And He forgives. And cleans me up. And that's when the change starts happening.

And I become free to love much.

1 comment:

Marie said...

I'm loving the 'its all there whether you know the numbers or not' comment. Haha!

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