Thursday, November 13, 2008

Transparency a.k.a What's Your Mess?

"In her novel Wise Blood, Flannery O' Connor says of her character Hazel Motes that 'there was a deep, black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.'  This is a profound insight.  You can avoid Jesus as Savior by keeping all the moral laws.  If you do that, then you have "rights".  God owes you answered prayers, and a good life, and a ticket to heaven when you die.  You don't need a Savior who pardons you by free grace, for you are your own Savior." -The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

I have been thinking a lot about transparency lately.  I have been completely inspired by the people in my life right now who are struggling with things and are just laying it out on the table.  They are admitting their imperfections, for they know they are not their own savior, and they are living lives in the light with accountability and hope.  It really is so beautiful.  They truly have an understanding of the gospel:

We are more sinful they we ever dared believe and yet more loved than we ever dared hope.

If there is not an understanding of the latter, then there is no way to admit the former.  If I do not believe that I already have more love than I will ever need then there is no way I will admit my struggles and failings for I fear the rejection of those around me.   

Paige Benton Brown discussed this briefly at the conference when she said, "When's the last time you heard someone say, 'Can you pray for me? When I look at my heart I realize I'm racist? ' or 'Hey I'm really struggling with lust here.'"  

I had a friend say to me recently that he wanted to start going back to church but that first, he needed to get his life back in order.  How sad that the church gives off such an unwelcoming, self righteous air.  That is not what Jesus said we should be.  

"On hearing this Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" -Mark 2:17

I am thankful that I have a community of people who inspire me to acknowledge how loved I am by God and be confident enough in that to admit to the world what a total mess I am.  

I hope you do too.


Grace said...

"We are not sufferers in need of a helper... We are sinners in need of a Savior." --Paige Benton Brown

kerry spencer said...

Yeah. Profound thoughts. Well said. Thanks.