Church basement honesty

By Dave Henning / September 9, 2022

“Coming clean improves our relationship with God, the people we serve, and ourselves.  Church basement honesty is much more empowering and fruitful than relying on false, wishful verdicts about ourselves as we nudge God out of the picture.”- Scott Sauls

“In the beginning God created man in his own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.”- Voltaire

In Prologue 8 (“The Church Basement”) of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, Scott Sauls asserts his belief that we need to start bringing church basement dynamics into the sanctuary.  Because addiction recovery groups often meet in the church basement.  And lives transform through church basement honesty.  Pastor Sauls explains:

“Hitting bottom . . . awakens us to the fact that we never grow past our need for healing.  Admitting we are frail and incomplete is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.  It’s what makes healing possible. . . .  As with Jacob, the ability to limp back into the world with humble, sober strength starts with wrestling on the ground.”

However, Pastor Sauls cautions, we must take care not to create a god in our own image.  To do so reduces such a god to our imaginations, sensibilities, and preferences.  As a result, in truth we invent a personal assistant or consultant.  Instead, to truly know God, He must reveal Himself to us.  To align us to Himself, God must revise and correct us.  Hence, Pastor Sauls notes, it’s unwise when we attempt to relate to God in the reverse.

In conclusion, Pastor Sauls posits that we overrate self-esteem.  For only an esteem that comes from the forgiveness, acquittal, and favor Jesus achieved for us on the cross helps, holds, and sustains us.  And as 1 John 1:9 promises us, when we confess our sins our faithful and just God forgives those sins.  In addition, God also cleanses us from unrighteousness.  So, Pastor Sauls exhorts:

“Rejoice.  You are a train wreck.  You are also more loved than you ever dreamed.”

Today’s question: How do you respond to Pastor Sauls’ call for church basement honesty?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the September Short Meditation, “Deep down every hurting heart knows”

Tomorrow’s blog: “When sin ceases to be wretched”

About the author

Dave Henning

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