I recently read this article by Megan Hill that opened my eyes to how being “real” and “authentic” has much deeper implications than we as believers (I myself) often allude to in our blogs, texts, emails, and conversations.
Yes, life is full of chaotic instances. From laundry overloads to falling short of the diets we wish our children to follow and so on. But it is so true that the real chaos is in our hearts. Our sin and the residue of the fall in our home and in our hearts are the matters of life that should make us shudder. I realize that it downplays grace to act as though our most dire needs for it are found in momentary messiness and non-eternal thoughts. Yes, our God is interested in every moment of our lives and we desperately need to draw upon his grace and seek his promises throughout our days. But let us (let me!) be quick to look into the depths of our hearts rather than the surface. And let us not try to elevate our failures and give way to any type of consolation for others in their sin. We are merely recipients of grace. We must elevate and point other mothers to the High Priest.
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12).
I’ve been in numerous small groups where “being real” consisted of stating personal sin flat out and not being ashamed of it before other believers. I get that and I’m not trying to criticize transparency by any means. My fear is that we stop there. We get the shame and guilt off our chests but we don’t do the necessary work of mortifying our sin. There is also a reciprocal role we should play in the lives of those we are confessing sin to. I must follow-up with my brothers and sisters in the faith. Grace is far too costly.
I want to look beneath the surface. Beneath the dishes, diapers, and bills we need to look for and put to death sin. Our cravings for accolades from other people, our lacking care to know God more, our addictions to social platforms, our unbelief, and the list goes on. I second what Megan Hill states in her article:
“If we are constantly looking for someone else who is broken in all the same places, we overlook the comfort we can have in the perfect God-man.”
When we see the measure of our sin and realize who we are sinning against, the allure of boasting in our failings and stopping there loses it’s comfort. It’s God alone that we need to be reconciled to and it is God alone that bought us as his own possession- that we may find joy in his strength and power when ours is forever lacking.
A few questions I’m left with to evaluate my heart:
Do I find comfort in knowing others are struggling and sinning like me? Why is Christ not enough to comfort me as I deal with my failings?
Jesus really “gets me” though he knew no sin. That truth must resonate in our hearts loud enough to silence the lies that keep us stopping and finding comfort in others that are, like us, well-acquainted with sin.
Here’s a book that I highly recommend to all Christians:
Overcoming Sin And Temptation: Three Classic Works by John Owen (edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor)
John Owen gives the following directions on dealing with sin:
“Set faith at work on Christ for the killing of your sin. His blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls. Live in this, and you will die a conquerer; yea, you will, through the good providence of God, live to see your lust dead at your feet.”
Though it’s difficult to read, it’s surely worth your while.
My husband and I recently listened to this Ask Pastor John episode, and it nudged us all the more to run to Jesus, the Godman, because though he knows not the battle personally of indwelling sin (he wouldn’t be God if he did), he knows the price and paid it for his people. I encourage you to take a listen:
Can Jesus Really Understand My Temptations? (Episode 592) #askpastorjohn
Run to Jesus.