Friday, April 8, 2016

Confronting the Sin Inside

I have seen darkness. I didn't see the suffering in Africa. I didn't lose a family member. This darkness didn't come from the outside world (though there is plenty darkness there). It came from me.

The Story

When I got a concussion last semester, all I could do was lay in my bed in a dark, quiet room. I had put so much hope in what I could accomplish, so when I could do absolutely nothing, I had to wrestle with where I found my value and identity. Did I have to believe I was worthless for two week?

I wish I could talk about how much I learned about my identity in Christ during those days. I wish I could say I dwelt on the promises of Scripture and God's goodness. But my prayers were very different.

"I HATE this, God. I am so mad at you. Why? Why would I need to go through this? This was not my plan."

Honesty with God was good. But eventually I became angry, bitter, cold, and hardened.

And I stayed there for months.

The Discovery

Going into the spring semester, I felt like I should have finally seen the blessing in my suffering. I wasn't enjoying being angry at God, but I also didn't know how to forgive Him. I was angry at God for not healing me, but I was also angry at myself for not trusting Him.

I doubted if I was even saved anymore. After all, I hated Christians, hated life, hated feeling badly, and hated anything that made me feel better.

It was like lifting a dead log that’s been sitting in the grass for too long and finding the disintegration going on underneath. Only I couldn't just drop the log, scream, and run away. The darkness and filth was in my heart.

The Hope

Maybe reading this, you are really annoyed with my self-centered view of darkness. How first-world can I be that looking at myself in the mirror is the worst suffering I have experienced? Don't I know the world is full of drought, abuse, slavery, and starvation?

I do realize the world is broken. But would you mind sitting here with me for a while? Take a moment to wonder if the worst things in life weren't out there, but in you and in me.

Why are we afraid to acknowledge the sin in our hearts when it is what separates us from God? It is literally a death sentence. Our sin, if left alone, can damn us for eternity.

Our culture will let you play the victim and make excuses for sin. But the Bible doesn’t.

"'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.'…'Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.' 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'… By works of the law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." -- Romans 3:9-20

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you."  -- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (emphasis added)

In the full understanding of our sin, we can also fully understand the depths of God's grace. The above passages conclude this way:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins." -- Romans 3:23-25

"But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." -- 1 Corinthians 6:11

Confronting the problem of sin is so painful. But when you learn how bad you are, you learn the size of the gift you have been given. Let your recognition of sin be an opportunity to worship the one who paid the punishment for your sin so that you could become a child of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment