Becoming Clean Inside and Out

Casey Ross recently posted an observation on something he noticed happen in one of the Sunday School classrooms at his church. You'll have to read his post to get the complete story, but Casey ends with this...
Once again, I'm confused. The unchurched kids are engaged and having meaningful experiences. The churched kids act as if they don't need it. Somewhere along the way, these churched kids have been programmed to not care or to care about the wrong things. Where and when does this happen?
It seems to me that this same behavior happens with adult Christians. To be honest, I find it happening in myself sometimes as well. My guess is that as time goes by and our relationship with Christ continues, our external behavioral sins decrease. Hence, we feel there is less to confess. And this is good. As Christians we should lie less, drink less, speak unkindly less, etc.

But the hard reality is many times Christians are guilty of trading external sins for internal ones. We get really good at managing our visible behavior, but we struggle to recognize and confess our internal sins. Adding to the difficulty of being honest with ourselves, we are afraid of what other 'Christians' will think of us. To borrow a concept from Jesus, since the 'outside of the cup is relatively clean' we fear the rejection of others at the 'dirtiness of the inside of the cup.'

I have been in too many small groups where peoples' only prayer requests are about their decision to buy a new vehicle or the hope of their kids doing better in school. Ultimately it comes back to a need for people to have a visceral view of the cross and the grace of God. I believe our enemy delights in Christians who think they are basically OK after they come to faith. It is in recognizing, owning, and living in our depravity that we come to know the love and grace of a God who sacrifices his Son for our sins, both pre- and post-conversion.
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