I have been reading this book, Abbas Child, The Cry of the Heart for an Intimate Belonging, that talks about where we find our identity in their world, and how so many people cover up their beautiful, true self, because they are afraid to uncover their sin and experience rejection.

"Without your wounds, where would your power be? It is your melancholy that makes your low voice tremble into the hearts of men and woman.  The very angels themselves cannot persuade the wretched and blundering children on earth as can one human being broken on the wheels of living.  In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve."

-Thorton Wilder’s, The Angel That Troubled Waters, based on John 5:1-4

So draw back from the pool of waiting to be healed and let brokenness weaken yourself and strengthen the God in you.  When we remain in hiding, we continue to live a lie, denying the reality of our sin.  For that is the beauty of coming together as a church community, and learning to strip away the imposter we sometimes portray to hide our true self.  When the world leaves us at stranded one the side of the road with our hearts abandoned, we have two choices.  We can either live in self pity and depression, or stand up, because He makes us stand as we choose daily to live in the joy of Christ.  We then begin to let Him become our first love again and our strength hold.

That is why it is so important to struggle in sin together, so that we may rid the sin and dirt that only grows in the darkness, but fades when the light hits it. 

In high school, I read The Scarlett Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and was so intrigued by it the power it had on my life.  It was an 1820 romantic work of fiction, that dealt the church, legalism, sin and guilt.  It tells a story of how a 1970’s young woman Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentence and dignity. As her sin was revealed, instead of the church taking her in and helping her heal and live with the consequences, they forced her to wear a red A on her dress for the rest of her life.  The mark of an adulteress.  Instead of receiving Hester with a grace and freedom, they continued to live self righteous and locked away their own sin, and only pointing out the sin of others.  But the people failed to realize, in the end, you reap what you sow.  So at the end of the book, (you should stop reading here, and read the book because it is one of the best books you will ever read!) they people come to realize, their own pastor who had been preaching against sin and repentance and grace the whole time, was the one who had an affair with Hester. 

No wonder people have so much to say against Christians, because we preach one thing and live another. 

My desire Lord is to live a life, in humility and repentance, loving those through their sin and openly working through my sin.  Let those of strong faith and love for you rise up and change the nations, not because of their legalism and holiness, but because of their die to self and life in Christ.

For if God calls us to love, then love should not betray, dismay or enslave, but set us  f r e  e.

"If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh"

-Colossians 2:23

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