Monday, March 12, 2012

HOPE FOR TODAY: The Sin of Silence

I was stunned to hear about Whitney Houston’s sudden death in February. As a youth I was a huge fan of her music. What does her death have in common with Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson? They all battled the demons of substance abuse and to some degree, it contributed to their deaths. The crafted legacies by industry historians along with family and friends will give little or no attention to the substance abuse issues in their lives.

In music, film, politics, sports and even religion we want to paint successful figures in their given fields in a positive light for what they contributed. However, it is often not an accurate portrayal of their life. Edited out are their failures. Silenced.

I have been reading the Scriptures since I was a boy. One of the fascinating things I like about them is their honesty. You would think the stories in Scripture of the giants of the Christian faith like Abraham, Moses, King David, Paul and Peter would only feature their successes. God did include their incredible exploits, however, He also included their failures. Really embarrassing ones.

Where is the good news in relationship to our failures? Jesus came into our world to bring us this news. First, it means we admit our failures or sin to our self. We say “Self, I’ve got a problem”. Second, we admit to God, turning our lives towards Him seeking His help. Third, we admit to others who have been hurt by our actions. Fourth, we use our mistakes to help others avoid them. The sin of legendary King David in the Scriptures was written about at great length. He had an adulterous affair that he tried to cover up by killing his mistress’s husband. After a period of time he finally admitted what he did. He sought God’s forgiveness then said, “I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you” (Psalm 51:13). Through our sin and failures we can teach people the consequences of bad behavior and urge them to avoid what we have done. I believe that is why God included the failures of His great workmen.

Let us stop trying to keep up appearances and explain away our actions. In our failure, may we turn to Jesus and let him take our ashes and turn them into something beautiful. May He be our hope for today.