Hidden Sins (part two)

October 31, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Reading in John 9 today–actually was supposed to be my reading for Wed but . . .  See it related to my last post and thoughts about hidden sins or sins lurking in my heart to which Psalm 19 refers.  Often (usually), I am blind to these hidden sins and need the help of others to see them.  And then, I have the choice of what to do with the self-insight that is given.  Jesus was trying to show the Pharisees their hypocrisy and their blindness but they refused to see.  Their pride would not allow them to see God powerfully at work in the life of a poor blind man.  If they faced the implications of what they had seen and heard, their world would have been turned upside down and they were not about to let go of control.  Not exactly sure about the control issue–maybe that is reading my issue into the text.

Jesus functioned in the capacity of what John Vawter calls a circuit breaker–trying to break the flow of destructive behavior in the lives of the Pharisees.  But they would have none of it.  Vawter gives 6 reasons why we need circuit breakers (“people who love us enough to point out our shortcomings, inconsistencies and sins so that the image of Christ isn’t obscured.”)

  1. We need circuit breakers to help us look at ourselves.
  2. We need circuit breakers to help us see how our weaknesses cause us to behave.
  3. We need circuit breakers to help us take responsibility for ourselves.
  4. We need circuit breakers to show us how we are hurting others.
  5. We need circuit breakers to help us admit we are wrong.
  6. We need circuit breakers to help us grow.

Vawter also gives 5 principles if we are to be circuit breakers in the lives of others, which he suggests is a responsibility we all have to our brothers and sisters in “encouraging one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Heb 10:24-25, see also Prov 27: 5, 6, 17)

  1. We need to look at other people with compassion.
  2. We need to stand for truth.
  3. We need to admit when our friends have weaknesses.
  4. We need to speak in a way that will be heard.
  5. We need to care enough to risk rejection.
  6. We need to be committed to helping our friends grow.

From Uncommon Graces by John Vawter, 156-169

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