Listening to pastor Matt Chandler has been continually convicting to me, especially during these recent times. God has used him to preach the Gospel with passion and humor, while still maintaining deep theological truths and clarity. I have truly benefitted from his teaching as his podcast reaches across the nation. There are times when the minutia can become ultimate and I lose sight of the grace of God in my life and the depth of my sin. Particularly recently, it has become apparent to me how big of a deal sin truly is–God is grieved, angered, and troubled by it, and he ultimately came to accept the punishment we deserve for every instance we’ve replaced God with one of our own, even ourselves. Chandler clarifies for me that idolatry is a heavy problem! We’ve rejected every offering that our loving God has graciously given and have chosen to go other directions. Like others, I sin and perhaps do not feel the weight I should, and I go on believing I’m just a “good person” that occasionally messes up. As Chandler points out, “we are only good if there is no Holy God!” Plus, it is not just the way we act that makes us sinners–this is a reflection of our motivations! Sin is an “inward essence” that then allows us to choose all the various bad actions that we do–he calls it a “fractured soul.” That is surely me, yet I never think it to be true. All my separation from God cost Jesus a life complete with mockery, slander, lies, doubt, and murder from others like me. Yes, this is personal. Like the overflow of the God’s trinitarian love that invites us into relationship with Father, Son, and Spirit, our rejection of this relationship and the sin that ensues is equally personal!
I have denied the truths of the Bible because I constantly think I can pull things off alone. I think more study, more effort, and more busyness will cure my problems. I think I can pull through whatever difficulty there is, and I am mistaken. May God crush my pride and cowardice, and may I turn to Jesus for all strength, help, selflessness, sacrifice, and love.