Here is a short meditation as I have been thinking about 1 John 1 and reading the poem, Cleanse the Thoughts by Walter Bruegemann
Why do I try to hide
When I am already fully known by You?
My secrets ooze out of the pores of my life,
despite my best efforts to keep them hidden.
My shame keeps me
from the help that I so desperately need.
Your wooing voice cries out to me,
Allow yourself to be known.
Join in the celebration with the saints,
our blood-bought victory,
our bondage-breaking liberation,
our friendship-restoring redemption.
Allow yourself to be known
And to be loved
as a less-than-perfect
image-bearer of the King.”
John Fischer nails it again this week with a post “Living outside the town of perfection.” He asks the perceptive question, “Are we willing to live with our needs showing?” He then provides the following teaser,
“Does Christ’s sufficiency heal the wound, fill up the hole, answer all the questions, remove all doubt, cease every sin, relieve the pressure, or solve every problem? When we give our “testimony,” is the struggle, the disappointment, the depression, the hurt or the temptation always over?”
I know how I must answer these questions. My needs ooze out out of cracks in this old pot regardless of how much I may try to hide them. How about you? Is that okay?
I noticed clusters of three as I read through Psalm 32 today. These triads draw attention to the odd one out! The first triad comes in verses 1 and 2
What to do with my sin? 1-2
- acknowledge my sin
- don’t cover up my iniquity
- confess my transgressions
I may think I can handle these words but then I read the fourth point at the end of verse 2–“in whose spirit is no deceit.” Uh, oh. If I am not honest, not much point in confessing, acknowledging, and asking God to cover up my sin.
What happens when we keep quiet about our sin? 3-4
- bones wasted away
- your hand heavy upon me
- my strength dried up
When the godly pray in 6, what happens:
- you are our hiding place
- you preserve us from trouble
- you surround us with deliverance
What God does for us 8
- I will instruct you
- I will teach you
- I will counsel you
I don’t think verse 9 fits the triad structure. We are warned to not be stubborn. I read this as a warning about being honest. Don’t refuse to admit your sin!! Don’t be like a horse/mule
- without understanding
- must be curbed with bit and bridle in order for it
- to stay near you
Another non-triad in verse 10. A contrast between the wicked and those trusting God
- wicked–many are their sorrows
- those trusting God–surrounded by God’s steadfast love
Final triadic blessing for those who trust in the LORD 11
- Be glad
- shout for joy
I wish the mule comparison did not fit me but I know how prone I am to wander away. Help me Lord to be honest and sensitive to your work in my life today.
How is God speaking to you today?
- People avoid you because you talk too much
- I find it hard to be around so much negativity
Missing in some of the replies to the linked post above: speaking the truth in love. Yes, I know Christians use it as an excuse to not speak the truth! But I have spoken the truth to someone without love and when I do so, they can’t seem to hear the truth or discount it. Someone spoke the truth to me this week and I appreciated it and grew as a result. We are in a small group with twenty somethings and in one with forty somethings. Twenty somethings win regarding honesty about life. Effective twelve step groups are grounded in honesty and I think that is what attracts me to them.
So, what keeps me from being completely honest with others?
- I lack love for them
- I am unwilling to walk with them to bring about change
- I have not been invited to give them feedback
- They may say they want to know the truth but their reactions show otherwise.
What about you?