Thursday, August 22, 2013

When God Pulls the Plunger

It's easier to be nice than real. Being real means I say weird things and get funny looks. Being real means other people see my bias, my unkindness and lack of compassion. Being real means I don't look like a professional Christian. Being real means "my sin is ever before me." 

When God pulls the plunger of "being nice" and living to please others, that's when yucky, nasty, goopy sin rises and spills over the edges of my cup. Other people see it. Other people get hurt. Other people don't like me. I don't like myself.

But how will the cup get clean without sorrow? Without confession and repentance? There is no cleansing if sin lies dark, dank and hidden in the bottom of the cup.

Praise God when He reveals our sin! Praise Him for His mercy, His lovingkindness and grace! Praise Him for forgiveness, for the sufficient sacrifice of Jesus and the resurrection power He supplies.

As words and attitudes and actions spill from my life and I learn to love, to live authentically and sincerely, God is glorified. I am not. And that's life the way it was meant to be.

When all my labors and trials are o’er,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

Oh, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.... Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:1, 8-11)

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