Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Heart in Line with God's

I came across this quote in Matthew Henry's "Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit" a week or two ago and scribbled it on a scrap of paper that's been floating around in my Bible as a bookmark ever since.

"When God's anger is kindled, ours must be stifled; the law of meekness is such that whatsoever pleases God must not displease us."

Every time I see that little scrap of paper, it convicts me of my weakness to just "be nice" about wrong things that others do. I am by nature, a very non-confrontational person and prefer to let people do things that I may not feel comfortable with, just because I don't want to "say anything." (I think I'm gradually getting a little better about standing up for right after nearly twenty-five years of hard lessons about what doing nothing yields.)

Of course, I know that many times it is appropriate to "put up" with the actions of others that I may not like or agree with. Most often, it is NOT my job to point out others' sins to them.

Perhaps some of my aversion to confronting others about sin (or even calling it distasteful and sin in my own mind) comes from the many times I have seen someone pick at the speck in their brother's eye, forgetting the beam in their own eye. There is almost nothing that I hate more than seeing one Christian doing that to another person, ignoring the totally hypocrisy in his/her own walk with God.

I continually remind myself, that my job is not to "straighten out the world"; my job is to rule my own heart and actions and keep them in line with God's heart. But in focusing on my own sins and ignoring those of others, I must not grow gradually comfortable with sin in other peoples' lives.

It is easy for me to grow calloused towards the ugliness of sin. Certainly, my attitude should be that of Jesus towards the woman caught in adultery - compassion and mercy - but in showing compassion, I must not loose sight of the horrific stench of the sin. I must not become soft towards little vices in other's lives, excusing things because it's them and not me doing it and "maybe they don't know any better."

Sin must always be exceedingly sinful in my eyes, if I want to have my heart in line with God's.

Because sin is what brought death upon all men. Because all sin is rebellion against the laws of a perfect, holy, and just God. Because sin is what nailed the sinless, loving Son of God to the Cross of Calvary. Because sin is what destroys lives, tears apart families, crumbles nations, and results in eternal damnation.

Sin is never only "sort of bad". Sin is never excusable. Sin is never okay in any body's life. And certainly, sin is never harmless.

God hates sin. He never made any excuses for it. People throughout Biblical accounts died for their sin - and rightly so - all of us deserve death for the great insults we have hurled at our Loving Creator with every breath that He gave to us in our vile and sinful state.

THIS is condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us (!!), and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4:10

I must love people and intercede for them and show them mercy and grace - far more than I ever calculate any of them to deserve - but I must agree with God that sin is ugly and horrific beyond my comprehension. And I must seek to daily see things from His eternal viewpoint, not my warped, earthly eyes.

No comments: