“When sin ceases to be wretched, grace ceases to be amazing. And when grace ceases to be amazing, things like grace, forgiveness, and then subsequent truth, beauty, holiness, and virtue cease to move us. When this happens, we become stuck in an insurmountable rut.”- Scott Sauls
“But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”- Psalm 130:4 (ESV)
In Prologue 9 (“God Has Bad Taste”) of Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen, Scott Sauls turns his focus to the last six words of Psalm 130:4. Forgiveness that you may be feared. Certainly, Pastor Sauls underscores, when we receive that message, our fear of God makes it such that we never need fear anything else. And that includes God.
Furthermore, when we trust God’s promise to strengthen, help, and uphold us, that enables us to speak honestly about things that weary us the most. Therefore, Pastor Sauls exhorts:
“Owning your sin, weakness, and not-enough-ness is a far better, far more hopeful solution to your emotional fragility than depending on self-esteem, which is based on the mistaken idea that people are essentially good. . . . There is something deeply wrong with us. Because of this, our esteem can be derived not from a sense of our own goodness but from belief in the goodness of God.”
In conclusion, Pastor Sauls stresses, the more mature our growth in Christ, the deeper our felt need for Christ. And as our faith strengthens, the weaker we feel in ourselves. Yet, this weakness serves to encourage us. The meek, poor in spirit, and those who mourn represent the happiest people in God’s kingdom.
Finally, Scott offers these words of hope:
“It is good to be reminded often that God has bad taste. That he welcomes even — no, especially — the wretched into his circle, family, and heart. . . . God reserves special attention and tender-loving care for those who know they missed the mark.”
Today’s question: What do you believe happens when sin ceases to be wretched? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Live in a pretentious fairyland?”