This week someone asked my opinion about a Christian leader, and the response that leapt to the forefront of my mind was a deficiency I perceive in this guy. This is a godly, admirable man. The first thing, the crouching instinct, was criticism.
I made sure to say some nice things first in order to prevent being perceived as negative or proud. But the hors d'oeuvres of building up were my subtle way of setting up the main course of tearing down.
What is going on in the heart when we lick our lips at the prospect of diagnosing weakness in another?
I'll tell you: I don't believe the gospel. I really don't. I say I do. But I don't.
If I did (really did), the reflex level of my heart would be grace, not law. The reflex level. Instincts. I wouldn't find it emotionally intoxicating to background my own inadequacies by foregrounding someone else's.
For all the talk on this blog about the gospel, and the gospel as a daily resource, in the past few years I have moved from gospel infancy to gospel toddling, not from gospel infancy to gospel maturity. Two years ago I took a baby step (Dr. Marvin) into the ocean of grace that moved the water level from the soles of my feet up to: my ankles. Most of me is still pretty dry.
What would my heart and life look like if I totally submerged myself?
Let's go there.