Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
“Wow. Thanks for the encouraging word today, Steve. You really have a way of making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (sigh).” It’s nice to feel good, but sometimes, it’s more productive to feel miserable… and that’s what today’s passage is all about.
John Stott has rightly said, “I fear that we evangelical Christians, by making much of grace, sometimes thereby make light of sin. There is not enough sorrow for sin among us (2 Cor 7:10). We should experience more ‘godly grief’ of Christian penitence.” I fear that I am way to comfortable with my sin nature. The apostle Paul certainly wasn’t. Even though he was drawing nearer to God with each passing day, he still remained painfully aware of his sin:
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing… So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:19;21-25)
How often do any of us cry out, “What a wretched man (or woman) I am!”? Yes, we need to continually thank God for His grace and mercy and salvation, but we all must be on guard that we do not lose the mourning and weeping over our sin…the sin that nailed Jesus to the cross in the first place.
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