This week we’ve been discussing redemptive ways Christians can relate to a culture that is, in New York Times columnist David Brooks’ assessment, “falling apart at the seams.” As we have explored ways we can share with our fellow sinners the good news of God’s grace, we have focused on the urgency of compassion. Today let’s discuss the compassion of urgency.
Yesterday I cited extensively from New York Times columnist David Brooks’ dire description of our culture as “falling apart at the seams.” I noted my belief that our country is experiencing God’s permissive judgment whereby he allows us the consequences of our freewill choices to reject his word and will. But then I stated that today we would “focus on ways to respond with compassionate courage and truthful grace.” The key is recognizing and embracing our solidarity with our fallen society. You and I should do this for three reasons.
When we yield to temptation, we don’t want others to know it. We want to maintain the façade of external godliness. It's like we are living under a false identity, projecting an image to the world that is untrue to our real selves. And we think we are getting away with our “private” sin. So long as no one sees our hidden sins, no one needs to know. But Someone does.
I encourage you right now to take a moment for a spiritual inventory. Ask the Spirit to bring to your mind any “private” sins you are committing, then confess whatever comes to your thoughts, claim God’s forgiving grace (1 John 1:9), and ask for his help in refusing them in the future (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Solomon once observed, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper” (Proverbs 28:13a). The main reason we “will not prosper” is that so-called secret or 'private' sins “grieve” and “quench” the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is the means by which God empowers, leads, sanctifies, and prospers his people.