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Monday, August 8, 2011

Being Honest With Myself

This post was inspired by Jon Acuff's blog post today on his website Stuff Christians Like.  (Plug for Jon: if you've never visited his site, I'd highly recommend that you do, and no he's not paying me to say this, he doesn't even know me.  He's a great writer, very thought-provoking, and often quite funny!)

Jon was talking about how as Christians we sometimes live a "double life."  One side of us is the "good Christian," while the other side has guilty pleasures (Jon talked about music, TV shows, other stuff that I've never heard of which is probably a good thing) like watching movies we know aren't God-honoring, or reading books or listening to music that isn't God-pleasing either.  I would add that that side of us can also have hidden sins that no one knows about, like a secret affair, an addiction to pornography, alcoholism, you name it.  It can also be things that could seem harmless, like a propensity to laziness, worry, or gossip.  None of these things is God-honoring either.  Jon pointed out how we often try to hide the less God-honoring part of ourselves, or even deny that that side exists.

So Jon asked, "What's one way we can be more honest as Christians?"


I think some Christians (read: me) avoid talking about some of the more serious things their sinful nature has gotten them to do because 1) they don't want people to judge or think less of them and 2) they want to set a good example for their other friends and acquaintances. However, neither of these is a good reason. (I'm convicting myself here.) First, what people think matters a lot less than what God thinks, and if we've repented of our sins, God's forgiven us and sees us as perfect and holy. Period. (He KNOWS we've sinned, he just doesn't count it against us anymore.) Second, if we (I) really want to set a good example for others, we (I) can let them know our failings AND that we've repented of them AND that we're forgiven AND that we're striving to live as God would have us to BECAUSE God loves us so much. Look at all that opportunity to share the Gospel!!

I think Christians should try less to keep their secret sins (or vices, or TV shows that they probably shouldn't watch, etc, etc, etc) a secret, and instead see their own experiences as an opportunity to testify to God's grace.

Being honest can also mean, if you have a serious problem or addiction, taking steps to get help to conquer your addiction.  I have my own share of sinful habits that are hard to shake, and I can tell you from experience that our sinful nature doesn't want to let us get rid of those habits.  Satan loves to see us stumble and fall, and he does everything he can to try to compromise our faith in God.

But God loves us even more than Satan hates us.  And God is far more powerful than Satan.  God wants to help us live lives that glorify him just as much as Satan wants us to disobey God.  And what God wants us to do, he gives us the strength to carry out.  Sometimes getting rid of a sinful habit is really hard.  I still struggle with worry and distrust and contentment, all the time.  I know I'm forgiven when I fail, but that doesn't mean I want to keep sinning.  By God's grace I'm able to (sometimes) say "No" when I'm tempted to sin.  And his grace is so huge that it is more than enough to forgive me when I fail.

I think it's important for Christians to be honest: with themselves and with one another.  It's also important to remember that God already knows the best and worst of us.  What's more, whether we're honest with ourselves or not, he loves us for who we are: sinners who are covered in and saved by grace.

2 comments:

  1. Being honest about my struggles and failures gives me opportunity to share and celebrate God's strength and forgiveness in my life. On the other hand, being honest about the blessings and triumphs I experience as a child of God serves to encourage and positively challenge others in their walk with the Lord.

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  2. YES! You are so wise, Mom :) <3

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