I recently met a new friend, a PCA gospel friend, who started out our conversation by saying: “I’ve read your blog and you really lay it all out there.” Do I? Or maybe I’m holding back much more, and my heart – like yours – is darker and more corrupt than could ever be shown? Perhaps I do do lay it all out there.
Then a church attendee told me last night that if I ever stop sharing the struggles of my own life when I preach that she will stop listening. She said the same: “Thanks for not holding back.” To which I said, “Well I do hold back some things. I don’t tell people how often I beat my wife.” JOKE.
I don’t even know what it is to lay it all out there. But I know that this blog is my place to honestly divulge that I am the worst of sinners with the most need for dependence on Christ. I really do feel that way.
Last week was horrible. Scary thing was – I started the week with multiple announcements to my family that it was going to be the best week ever. Work on Monday. Then New Year’s Eve. Bowl games on Tuesday. Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday night (atta boy Papa). Les Miserables on Broadway on Thursday. Day off on Friday. Wedding party on Saturday. The best week ever.
Not really. See, I have always known that, even on the good days, I have isolated moments of selfishness. Just moments so I thought – until last week. Then last week I realized why my life is often a string of selfish moments (you know, with the good life being the links on the chain)… it is a string of selfish moments because I am as self-absorbed as Satan was before he his Fall. Maybe an exaggeration. Could be.
I’ll leave the actual selfish tantrums for you to imagine… but I say this to those who know me. I am a sinner. I am a husband who fails to love his wife. I am a dad who is often interrupted by his kids – not because they do a lot of interruptions – but because I am constantly preoccupied with my life that I don’t want to have interrupted! I am a wrecking ball of dispassion and myopic vision (I am so nearsided I see only me). Last week, rather than mending the broken or being broken with the broken – I tended to tell the broken to get over it and quit messing up my good week. O, and then I would go and preach or lead a Bible study or pray with people at the office…
I am weak. I need the gospel. I hurt. I hurt others. I am not even laying it all out there… nor do I care if I have laid out too much. Praise be to God that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Praise be to God that when we are weak, he is strong. Praise be to God that he will finish the work that he has begun in us.
O, and I’m glad its a new week. Nothing to hide. Nothing to fear. Nothing lie about. I am the worst of sinners, but he gives more grace.
O to plant a church where people as unilaterally messed up as me gather to worship and depend on the God of glorious grace for the weak.