Monday, July 15, 2013

Quick, Leave! Before You Get Hurt!

Author and seminary professor Steve Brown was our guest preacher at church yesterday. He told a first time visitor sitting in the front pew that she should run away before she gets hurt. You are probably thinking what I thought at first - that is not the most welcoming way to greet first time visitors! His point with telling her that was to reinforce his message that we are all screwed up - every one of us. And by the way, those of us in the church are especially difficult because of our self-righteousness and hypocrisy. We pretend that we are fine, we believe we are better, and we can't possibly see how we are more sinful than those "outside" the church. He told her we are mean and judgmental. If you have heard Steve Brown, you know he did it with humor and gentleness, but he could not sugar coat the truth of what he said. I am sure that at some level we were all wincing, because we don't want to admit that what he said holds water. But, it is true...I will hurt you, and you will hurt me. I have hurt you, and you have hurt me. This is not just some flip admission of guilt. It is at the very core of who we are - people who are bent on our own selfish ways. 

He talked about people who are transparent and "real". The truth is, they are phony too. There are "real" things we will share, but then there are still secrets we will never share. How transparent is that? I confessed sin to a friend yesterday and she appreciated my realness. I get that. However, my realness only goes so far. There are some things I will never share with you. That pretty much makes me a phony - I admit it.

No matter what friends say about you being authentic, you are a phony  ~ Steve Brown

He went on to speak about the beauty and transformative power of the gospel among people who know they are screwed up and admit it. He told her, "get past the speed bump and you'll be fine." I took that to mean that once she realizes her own mess and all of our own messes, she will find herself in a community of messes - all falling on Jesus as our righteousness alone. That is true freedom! Because really, I'm exhausted trying to keep up the image...how about you?

The good news is this:

You are really and truly and completely free. There is no kicker. There is no if, and, or but. You are free. You can do it right or wrong. You can obey or disobey. You can run from Christ or run to Christ. You can choose to become a faithful Christian or an unfaithful Christian. You can cry, cuss, and spit, or laugh, sing, and dance. You can read a novel or the Bible. You can watch television or pray. You're free...really free. ~ Steve Brown, A Scandalous Freedom


2 comments:

  1. Love this! I can't wait to watch the video this week. I couldn't read A Scandalous Freedom fast enough when my journey out of performance began a few years ago and I go back to it all the time. Thanks for posting this... Mike

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    1. Thanks for your comment Mike!I know what you mean - so refreshing to hear this good news!

      Blessings,
      Lori

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