Giving the Lion His Just Desserts

lion It is a strange thing to be grateful for sight, but all this week I grovel low and weep at the sight of sight. It comes in waves and it comes slowly at seemingly inopportune moments, but it comes just the same, warning me of paths ahead.

In this past weekend's sermon my pastor spoke on the difference between worldly sorrow that produces death and godly sorrow that produces a life without regret (II Cor. 7:10) and I couldn't write fast enough. Pencil to paper, ear to the word, I watched the sorrow I feel take form. Godly sorrow has sight. It sees.

Drunk on accountability partners and unspoken prayer requests, it has kept me from naming my sins, giving them phrase and confession. I "struggle" with sin or "war against" that which would devour me, but name the sin? Name more than the grotesque shape shrouding the war that wages within? No, not that.

But sight is a beautiful thing. And, my pastor said, beating the enemy to the truth about who I am delivers me from the power of his accusation. And fear not, that accusation will come. We will see our sin or our sin will see to us. Our enemy is a lion roaming for his kill and is no respecter of person, plight, platform, or performance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There's a song I've been listening to much in recent weeks. Her whole album is a treasure, but this song in particular pushes the specific confession I am going for here. It is not enough to know the struggle, but naming it, giving it verbiage and placement puts the enemy in his place. I seek not to train this lion, I seek to kill him. The first way I do that is to starve him of the pleasure of deception, his favorite dessert.

From the love of my own comfort From the fear of having nothing From the life of worldly passions Deliver me, Oh God

From the need to be understood From the need to be accepted From the fear of being lonely Deliver me, Oh God

I shall not want, I shall not want, When I taste your goodness, I shall not want

From the fear of serving others From the fear of death or trial From the fear of humility Deliver me, Oh God

If it is true that His goodness is better than life, and I would stake my life on its truth, then His goodness satisfies my wants. It satisfies the needs I feel, even the most acute demanding ones, the ones that set me on a slippery path of sin.

In the newness of the gospel, and there in the everyday of the gospel, the painful, agonizing sight of my sin is His first goodness to me.

Let's Take This Outside (your circle)

fight Challenge to Christian bloggers: read a blog you don't usually read, find good content, share it. Reach across the table & find the commonness of the gospel.

That's my status on Facebook right now and I mean it.

Last week there was yet another dustup in the blogosphere. You know how it goes. Blogger writes XYZ, Twitter erupts with 140 character-easily misunderstood opinions and all manner of logical fallacies, and 67 Bloggers all respond—many of them entirely missing the point of original blog or demonizing original blogger or making good points of their own which will undoubtedly be rebutted by another 67 bloggers.

Somebody hand me a paper bag and get me off this ride.

One of the ways I try to do damage control in the Christian blogosphere is to stare people in the face and tell them to slow down, breathe, be circumspect, trust Jesus is Who He says He is and that He is building His Church—with or without a troupe of bloggers all juggling their balls in amateur hands.

But one of the most helpful things, I think, a blogger can do is to simply read more than one polarizing post of one blogger. There's something about even reading the "About Me" section of a blog that humanizes a person, takes the monster out of him, or at least shows the monster to be only a suit bought at half-price after October 31st. Underneath they're real people with real lives who cook dinner with their spouses and stub their toes and probably really do love Jesus—even if He's revealed Himself to them in different ways than He has to us.

The beauty of the gospel is that it is for all men, Jews, Greeks, Slaves, Free, Men, Women, but it does not eliminate differences, demanding a dehumanizing clone-like Christianity. No. Instead it reaches inside all the differences and finds the beautiful sameness: broken people in need of a Holy God, and then sends us out to reach all kinds.

So if you're a blogger or a content creator of some sort, can I encourage you to do something radical this week? Go read that publication you shudder to think of. You know which one it is for you. Go read it and read it with the express purpose of finding the beautiful gospel woven through its threads and then share it with your followers. I think we'd be surprised at what might happen.