Back in the old days, before I entered the controversy, my blog was a devotional blog. This is one I posted on our son and daughter-in-law’s wedding day, and it’s my joy to repost it now for their sixth anniversary.
I know it must grow wearying to many Jesus-lovers to hear of one Christian leader after another being accused of sexual sins and even crimes. I become weary too, but not because I believe the accusations are false or nit-picky. No, I’m glad for any such truths that are coming out, and I’m glad criminals and hypocrites are being exposed. It’s the hypocrisy itself I grow weary of.
The hypocrisy was especially brought it to my attention this time in an article my husband told me about a couple of days ago, which defended one of the recently accused, Bill Hybels (who has been accused of long-term adultery as well as attempts at seduction, allegations against whom can be found here and hereandhere).
Occasionally I’ve talked with friends who have feared they haven’t really forgiven the person who harmed them. “I keep thinking about the harm,” she might say. “It keeps hurting. So that makes me think I haven’t really forgiven.”
It’s not only a common feeling, but also a common accusation.
[One book I’m reading] talks a lot about loving yourself. Every time I read that phrase, I flinch, because my theology in the past has been based on the idea that I’m sinful and thus there’s nothing about myself to love. This article from Desiring God [“Do You Love Yourself Enough?”] sums up the viewpoint perfectly.
But what about God’s grace? What about the work of Jesus on the cross, that purifies us, and our new natures now that we’re in Christ? I’m conflicted at the moment. Where does self-love fit with the Gospel? Am I sinful? Am I a worthless worm? Is there really nothing good in me? What about “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”?
It’s the season of Advent, and I’m enjoying wonderful songs about the birth of our Savior; this season it’s ones like Lauren Daigle’s “The Light of the World” and Francesca Battistelli’s “You’re Here.” These songs increase my deep joy and gratitude for our Lord Jesus Christ’s willingness to descend to earth and accomplish our great salvation for us, freeing us from sin and death and calling us to Himself. I sometimes stand stunned with gratitude at the outpouring of His grace.