We like honesty, integrity, faithfulness, respectability, sincerity, and so we should! Without idolising them, or twisting them merely for personal pride or advancement, there is an appropriately good place to strive after them.
Rather pray for grace to tell the truth than grace because we wish to tell a lie. Rather grace to take action than hide in the crowd of do-nothing-ers.
But we do not always have the blessed priveledge of achieving these worthy goals.
I cancelled dinner plans recently. I did not enjoy doing so; I did not want to do so. I had to do so.
I was physically sick.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t enjoy it. Not the sickness of course, but also not the lack of dependability that is inevitable. I want to follow through on my word. I want to respect a friend who is willing to spend time with me. I want to be trusted.
That is the pain of living in a fallen world. While a Providential limitation is not sinful in itself, the hurt still hurts.
“who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:2
Yet even in this, God is good. He provides for us. He overcomes our weakness with His strength.
Even more importantly, He can show us more of Himself. Either directly, or – what I often find in such trials – more of our own sinfulness and duplicity of heart in order to drive us to Himself as our only Saviour.
What did I really want in this scenario? What do I really want in my life? Do I want God’s glory, whatever the personal cost – in humiliation and the open display of my weakness to the world. Or do I want to be respected in the eyes of others?
It is my own sin that really hurts me the most. My lack of faith in our good God. That sin I need to confess and repent of, and go running to my Heavenly Father with, ashamed that I have not taken it to Him already and laid my concerns at His feet, knowing He will care for me.
God is merciful. He is a gracious High Priest, interceding for us, sinners that we are. He can be trusted with our problems. He will do right by us. He is worthy of our attention and focus. We should spend our problems with Him – there is no greater relief. There is no greater joy.
I would commend the following sermons to you for further meditation and Scriptural direction regarding the hurt our sin does to us*. Specifically, this collection concerns the ways we as Christians sin in the church – against ourselves, against one another, against God.
These sermons both comforted and challenged me from the Word of God when I first heard them. Mostly comforted though. I pray by Gods grace they will aid the same function again, both in me and you.
*While I have no hesitation in recommending these as to their content, I will just say I’ve not heard them in over a year, and I can’t remember many of the details. And so if they don’t fully align with the theme I discuss, I apologise. They’re worth listening to in their own right, completely apart from anything I say.