Can we embrace the truth about ourselves?
"If you knew the full condition of my heart, my fantasies and grievances, my anxieties and my darkest solitary thoughts, you would declare me a danger to myself and others. I cannot be entrusted with power by myself, certainly not with celebrity.” Andy Crouch
It has not been a good week. A person with significant power at the top of an evangelical organization was confronted with several cases of allegations of sexual misconduct and misdeeds. No names need to be mentioned. I pray that all these accusations will be proven to be spurious, but I’m afraid that the damage has already been done to the work of God here on earth, the reputation of the Lord Jesus, and the sheep who will be hurt and become cynical.
And that brings us to the above quote: Can you and I really embrace the truth about ourselves?
The Apostle Paul said the same thing this way: "For I know that in me (that is, my flesh) nothing good dwells...O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?...In me, nothing good dwells". (Rom 7:18, 25 NKJV) Our sin nature is so depraved that Paul calls it a "body of death"! Paul says this about followers of Jesus…not to non-believers! The question is…can you and I receive this?
When we come to saving faith in Jesus, sadly, our sin nature doesn't change one iota. Genesis 4:7 says ”sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." Sin is always there, lurking in the shadows of our souls, ready to squeegee out, and cause us to shame ourselves and our Savior. Only with daily and moment-by-moment surrender to the Holy Spirit can we receive God’s power to live above our evil desires.
The quote at the top of this blog by Andy Crouch is so true for me, that if I knew how to say it stronger regarding myself, I would. I have known this since I first came to Jesus 47 years ago. I had seen myself do so many horrible, unthinkable things in my first 22 years of life, that the depravity of my heart was quite clear to me.
This is one reason why I have never struggled to embrace Jill and her disabilities. All the pain and suffering that came with it, the limitations that it brought to me in terms of travel and celebrity status. I knew in my heart exactly why God had chosen to bless me with Jill just as she is. At least in part, it was to keep me humble, broken, dependent--to keep me from getting too “big for my britches” and so arrogant that my sin nature would leak out and I would end up in the ditch. I'm not saying this is true for any other parent of a child with a disability--I am just saying it's been true for me.
I have yet to make it to the end of my life "ditch-free", but I'm getting closer as I turn 70 this year. If ultimately, I am able to lay my earthly life down without bringing disgrace to the Lord, the Gospel, my family, and myself--then I will be a happy man! Finishing the race well, as the Bible says, will never happen unless we accept the truth about what lurks inside of us--and turn to Jesus every day in desperation for the Spirit's power to rule in our lives! I pray that you embrace this truth and that you and I will seek to honor Christ each day.
In this regard, I covet your prayers.
“Lord, the Lord Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel, may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me.” Psalm 69:6