Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bad Chuck

I try to be a good Christ Follower. The problem is I consistently have to deal with a stumbling block that seems to trip me up at nearly every turn. That stumbling block is me. I guess to be accurate it is the sin nature of the old Chuck that I have to battle constantly.

This week it appeared in the form of glee. Let me explain. It probably started with an attitude of frustration. After three days of minor inconveniences from hurricane Ike I had let myself fall in the pit of self pity. Ok, I did not fall in; I jumped in. That attitude put me in the mood to be set up big time.

I then heard about the arrest of a man I know. He has for many years been a dramatic example of the life lived in opposition to God. He is angry and mean spirited. He is very outspoken in his anti-Christian beliefs. He started his own misguided religion. He is an all around trouble maker. This time his actions were also illegal and he got arrested. My first response? Glee.

Please don’t try to rationalize this for me. Yes, he got what he deserved. Yes, he had it coming. Yes, it is good to see justice done. Yet I know in my heart I did not have a righteous anger but a mean spirited glee over this man’s misfortune. From the outside my satisfaction may have looked righteous but on the inside I knew it was rotten.

You know what else? It was hard for me to repent. Sure, the words of repentance came easy but the conviction of repentance was more difficult to find. This kind of repentance requires that special honesty of the heart that reveals to a man just how wicked and dark his own heart can be. Then I found my way to Psalm 32.

Psalm 32 has always been a favorite. I was reminded of the joy found in God’s forgiveness. I was reminded that the life filled with unconfessed sin is in fact a life where all the joy and vitality is sucked right out of us. I chose the confession and forgiveness route.

Maybe you are struggling today with unconfessed sin. It’s not worth it. It is especially not worth it if that sin is a bitterness, anger or disappointment over another person. You are more likely hurting yourself more than them and I can assure you that any satisfaction you get from striking back will be short lived and leave you feeling emptier than before.

Pull to the side of the path this morning and spend a moment at the rock called 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins God is faithful to cleanse us and forgive us of all unrighteousness.”

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