A comment from Linda on “The Dominant sin…”
Linda is an important part of this blog. We birthed it together and her encouragement to write was what finally gave me the confidence to do it. What follows are her comments to my post on living for the applause of others rather than in the Father’s unconditional love. (Greg)
It was in the midst of the abandonment over the last sixteen months by the church we served for over 16 years that I discovered the truth about “the dominant sin of my adult life” (see previous post). Even those of us who consider ourselves to be independent and self-sufficient live under the lie of this sin: I must perform and meet certain standards and expectations for how a Christian lives, even if these standards are only my own; the lie is very subtle.
And…it was in the midst of the abandonment over the last sixteen months by the church we served for over 16 years that I discovered the truth about my Father’s grace. Having lived my life thinking that “I really wasn’t all that bad” or “at least I didn’t do/haven’t done THAT,” God brought me to the realization that I was, and am, all that bad. I’m no better or no worse than the next person, but I too, am fully in need of His grace, a grace based on what He gives, not on what I do.
The Enemy of our hearts and souls tried to steal, kill, and destroy Greg and me through Greg’s sin and the subsequent abandonment by the church. But…God took the tool of the enemy and used it to reveal to us the truth about living life for an audience of One: God loves Greg and me no matter our failings (in this case our focus) or our strengths. We are His, bought with a price and dearly loved, sitting in His lap. Living in that truth refutes the lie.
On one of our darkest days, the Spirit gave us the following song to reveal truth and comfort. It continues to comfort our hearts.
In Christ alone my hope is found, His is my light, my strength, my song; this cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease. My comforter, my all in all, here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless Babe! This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save. ‘Til on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied. For every sin on Him was laid; here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain; then bursting forth in glorious day, up from the grave He rose again! And as he stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; for I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in us; from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands our destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck us from His hand; ‘til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ we’ll stand! (lyrics by Stuart Townsend)
I wasn’t aware of how living my life in the lie could, and did, encourage others to live in that lie as well – peer pressure is a terrible thing. I also realized that I wasn’t the giver of grace I should have been. Now, in the awareness of the truth, I must offer grace; it is a gift I MUST give – that’s how I refute the lie in my own life and in the lives of others.
This last year, God, in His amazing mercy and grace, brought people into our lives who, like us, are learning to live, love, play, serve, sing, laugh, and dance before the audience of One.