Simply Say It

    Sometimes we like to dress up our lives. We dress up the ideas that we pitch to others and we dress up our words in order that they might fit a certain expectation or so that they will have a better chance of being listened to. While I think that we can all agree that there is a time and a place for dressing things up, if we examine the primary purpose for dressing up, I think we will find that it is to make things sound better (or at least different) than they really are.

Dangerous Dress Ups

    One area that is very dangerous to dress up is the way that we address sin in our lives. We often call the things we struggle with by more attractive names, excuse them by making them sound like cute parts of our personalities, or even justify them by giving them a purpose that is supposed to make the wrong that you are doing okay.
" I really have a tendency to lose my temper with her, she knows how to push all my buttons"

" I'm not being rude, I'm just blunt, but someone had to say it"

"I'm just showing that I care, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't worry about her."

     All of these saying that we tell ourselves day in and day out make it sound like what we are allowing to continually thrive in our lives are okay things. They aren't that bad. I mean to some extent it's to be expected right? I'm even supposed to be doing these things.
    But my friends, our hearts are so deceitful! We want to believe lies about ourselves and when we word things like this it is so so easy to believe us. But when we call things what they are in simple, true terminology, it is a lot harder to ignore or appease our God-given conscience.

The Bible says that to hate some one in your heart, it is the same as murder. I struggle with murdering.

The Bible says that we are to speak the truth in love. I'm not just being blunt, I am being unloving.

The Bible says that worrying is a sin. I am not supposed to worry, I am commanded not to.

   Stop dressing up sin. It's not supposed to look good. It's supposed to be eradicated. You don't dress up the cockroaches in your kitchen so that they won't look as bad. You call an exterminator and you eliminate them.

Draining Dress Ups

      Another kind of dangerous dress up is when we try to take the clear, simple, beautiful message of the Gospel and dress it up for those around us, or for ourselves. We try and come up with all of these gimmicks and smoke in order to make the Gospel more attractive. We try and word it in such a way that will make an intelligent argument, sure to woo the attentions of any listener. But what did the apostle Paul have to say about this? 1 Corinthians 1:17 says " For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power."
       How can we empty the cross of Christ of its power? Of course nothing we could ever do or say or think could ever take away the finished work of Christ on the cross. But when we dress up the message with so called "eloquent wisdom", we are in essence saying that the work of the cross was not enough. That somehow we need to help it. 
    Not only this, but we as Christians have a tendency to dress up doctrine and theology with so many fancy words that we hardly know what it means. But the gospel is simple. The gospel is true. And the gospel has the power to conquer hell and the grave.
     So often I find myself minimizing this power and shooting myself in the foot by not speaking simply of the things that I am going through. Instead of trying to make a caveat for each situation I am going through, if I just state things as they are then I have a better ability to see what my functional beliefs are. Then if they are correct I can rest in them and if they are wrong I can repent of them.
     Instead of trying to convince myself of the things I should and shouldn't do, trying to handle things the right way, or trying to make myself not worry about something, all I need to do is fill in the blank about these simple statements.

I want Jesus more than I ________________

  • Want healing in this area
  • Want to be safe
  • Want food
  • Want social media
  • Want to be accepted
  • Want to be understood

I trust Jesus more than I ________________

  • Don't trust this relationship
  • Trust my own judgement
  • Trust my circumstances
  • Trust the actions of others
  • Trust the political climate
  I am finding that the more I fill in these simple statements, the easier it is for me to realize where I am not functionally believing the gospel in my life. And when I see that, repeating these truths to myself help me to believe in a real way that Jesus is enough and more than enough for everything that I am going through.

Drops the Disguise

     Christ died for our un-dressed up, extremely exposed, sinful, ungrateful souls. He already sees what's behind all of the things that we hide behind, and the only people we are fooling are ourselves. We don't need to dress up our prayers, because He created that heart that is hiding. We shouldn't dress up our sins because He's already seen them and trying to hide them only hurts ourselves. We can't dress up the message of the gospel because it was written by the Author of all creation and the story of His truth is simple but incomprehensible.
     So drop the disguise, call things what they are, and see the beautiful way that the Almighty Savior will restore your soul.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31


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