Sunday, July 12, 2009

"You cannot, Madam, form a right judgment of yourself except you make due allowance for those things which are not peculiar to yourself, but common to all who have spiritual perceptions, and they are indeed the inseparable appendages of this mortal state. If it were not so, why should the most spiritual and gracious people be so ready to confess themselves vile and worthless? One eminent branch of our holiness is a sense of shame and humiliation for those evils which are only known to ourselves and to Him who searches the hearts, joined with acquiescence in Jesus who is appointed of God -- wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I will venture to assure you that though you will possess a more stable peace, in proportion as the Lord enables you to live more simply upon the blood, righteousness, and grace of the Mediator, you will never grow into a better opinion of yourself than you have at present. The nearer you are brought to Him, the quicker sense you will have of your continual need of Him, and thereby your admiration of His power, love, and compassion will increase from year to year."
I ran across this piece by John Newton the other morning and I think it contains truth that Christians need to consider. We follow a holy God and He wants us to be holy too, but in that pursuit, when we have the ideals, morals and ethics of perfection as our goal, we can become disheartened sensing our many failings.
This piece puts perspective to it, in this candid letter to a lady he is mentoring.
I chose this picture because to me it symbolizes falling into the arms of Christ in complete helplessness.
Photo from the Internet


Mel said...

Gracious, Fred, as I read this post, I felt like it was written just with me in mind. I've heard something similar from another favorite author of mine, John Bevere. He said some of the most devout, humble, sincere and mature Christians he's ever known have consistently considered themselves to be people who struggle with every kind of sin and depravity. Whereas many of the people he knew who were actually outwardly struggling with those things, seemed to have a very high opinion of themselves and their own position spiritually. Interesting, isn't it? I can't wait to read the book! Thank you so much for the books you left for me, I'm chomping at the bit to get them. :)

Peace and Joy to you and yours always,

Mel :)

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
I too, felt as though it was written just with me in mind. I have read this theme before as well, in many ways; but I hear it rarely from the pulpit and so I notice and like to share this balance, which I call the balance of reality, to my blog. I have never known a truly spiritual person whose heart did not resonate with this theme. The more light we have the more we see of God in the world, but also of darkness in ourselves, don't you think?
God bless,

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Wonderful paragraph to think and meditate.

It is only when we don't have the sense of shame and humiliation for the evil we commit, we become a fertile ground for the devil.

We are aware that God can see us when commit sins, yet we persist in our evil deeds. How many of us have skeletons in the cupboard which we will not disclose and will carry to our grave. God knows them. If we have sense of shame and humiliation we will desist from evil deeds although the devil might try his level best to tempt us.

This is a very meaningful and useful paragraph.

Have a nice day Fred:)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for your comments, indeed this is a wonderful paragraph to meditate on. That in itself may be fuel for change. I found one error in your comment though, you said the devil "might" try to tempt us, I think he rarely misses a chance :)
God bless Joseph,