Happy Sunday Everybody! Today, we're picking up where we left off yesterday with part two of Tami's post. For part one click here.
Imagine, if you will, a thick, gorgeous tapestry. Envision a rainbow of colors, threads interwoven so that you can hardly distinguish one from the next. Would you ever walk up to that tapestry, pick out a solitary thread, and say, "Ah, glorious and beautiful and wonderful thread! This tapestry is all about YOU and only YOU!"
It seems utterly ridiculous, right? Laughable. Yet in our sin we do this constantly. Our great Master Weaver is weaving the tapestry of his church, each of his chosen people represented by a single thread made into a tapestry that gives glory not to any one thread but to the creator. No single thread is more or less beloved than any other by Jesus, and he’s not made your beautiful story of redemption so that you can inspect the thread that is you and make it all about you. Yet we do this, obsessing over every little weave and turn and color change, seeing only our own thread and maybe a few other threads we sort of care about almost as much as our own (spouse, children, friends, pastor, etc.) as though that’s all there is.
Step back with me. Step back from obsessing over your own sin, be it the current ways you want to be better or the past you are still haunted by. Step back from all of the stuff you’re trying to do to ensure that you are "living for Jesus" and the stuff you’ve already done, trying to be sure you’re really different from who you were.
Ask the Holy Spirit to allow you to see his beautiful handiwork. Ask him to help you draw near to Jesus and then, as he changes your heart and relieves you of the burdens of trying to create your own redemption in his name, to give you wisdom. Not only does God give wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5), but wisdom isn’t the ability to see and do the right thing; rather, it’s the ability to see from God’s perspective. True wisdom rejoices in drawing near to God and seeing the grace and freedom that is yours to enjoy and savor Christ, to obey because you’re already freely forgiven!
One closing caveat: please understand that there is certainly also wisdom in what we share, how much, and with whom. With the example of children, I’m not saying you explain to your three year old how much sexual sin you committed! But as you cleave to Jesus and grow and mature with him ask for wisdom in how to share with your children as they are of appropriate age and maturity, and always ask the Spirit to help you desire Jesus’ glory and not yours. Pray he’ll help you know how to share without fear and if you feel lingering shame pray for the conviction to repent of believing the lie that Jesus’ payment for your sin isn’t enough, as that always lies at the root of shame. Jesus despised the shame of sin, died on the Cross, and when he rose from death your sin was conquered and you were set free!
But I digress into beautiful things The point is, please don’t misunderstand me and think I’m saying we should just always say everything all the time no matter how torrid the details. Discretion is a beautiful thing; hiding in shame is not, and that includes with our own children. Pray that Jesus’ redemption didn’t end with you but that through your sin he will work even more beautiful redemption in your children.
Finally, remember this truth, one that I cry out to the Spirit to forgive my unbelief and help me believe every single day: it is not cleaned up, perfect in every way mama that best exemplifies the gospel to my children. Rather, it is mama clinging to Jesus and, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, repenting to Jesus and to my children (and their daddy) when I consistently fail that shows my kids the true gospel: I am a sinner desperately in need of Jesus at all times and because he’s good he forgives me and restores me to him and those I love when I sin through the gifts of conviction, repentance, and redemption.
Amen and amen!