For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Read: Ecclesiastes 7:1 – 9:18, 2 Corinthians 7:8-16, Psalm 48:1-14, Proverbs 22:17-19
Relate: “If I were to step into that place, the building would fall down around me.”
I have heard this type of excuse before, but because I was now talking about Two Rivers, I had a beautiful, tailor made response. “Well, have you ever been to the movies?”
He answered, “Yes. Of course.”
“Great. Then you’ve already been inside. I’ll see you Sunday at ten.”
Obviously, nobody thinks that the building will collapse simply because their foot has stepped beyond the threshold. This is only a humorous metaphor that hides a very sad reality. Many people feel that they aren’t worthy to join in with Christians in a church setting. What they don’t realize is that none of us do. If people knew the real me, they would learn that I have a past that is far from reputable, a thought life that is far from wholesome, a tongue that is far from kind, an anger that is far from under control, a pride that refuses to allow this side of me to be exposed, and an apathy that doesn’t care to change things. I am sure that if I were to pull back the curtain on you, I would likely see much of the same. We are all unworthy.
React: David was called a man after God’s own heart. He was the standard by which all later kings were measured and with few exceptions, they all were said to fall far short. What is so amazing about this is that David was not a great man. He wasn’t even a good man. David was impulsive, temperamental, a bad father, an adulterer, and a murderer. There were so many skeletons in his closet the place rattled every time a mouse exhaled.
What made David such a great man in God’s eyes was the direction he always ran. Every time we are confronted with the guilt of our sin, we have a choice. Will we allow it to lead us to a sorrow that causes us to run to God or will it become a shame that causes us to hide? Those who use the excuse my friend gave me are taking that second choice. Many of us, as Christians, do the same. Like Adam and Eve, we try to hide from His presence even as we live with Him in the garden. David ran to God. Every time his sin was exposed, he came crying, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God.” Let us do the same. Let us be called men and women after God’s own heart, not because we are worthy but because we run hard after the One who has paid for our faults.