Pastors live on the outside spectrum of emotions. We are either overly happy, overly excited, overly concerned or overly angry. A lot of times we are overly angry, about what other people are doing, what they are saying, how they are voting, etc.
I don’t usually hear pastors get up on stage and talk about how angry they are about what they see as sin in their own life. They are just angry about what everyone else is doing.
A few weeks ago on the way to church I stumbled upon one such pastor on the radio he was so angry.
He was yelling and condemning all sorts of people. He said at one point something to the affect of: this is just how God feels about sin…
I was a little embarrassed.
Angry pastors scare me,
That is because have a lot of friends who wouldn’t consider themselves followers of God. They know I am a pastor. I wondered what would happen if they turned on the radio and heard this guy. What would they think that I think about them? What would they think God thinks about them?
The other morning I heard my son on the baby monitor. I hear him every morning, but this morning it was a bit different.
He was sitting down crying, dada… mama… dada… mama
I walked into get him and he was upset when I opened the door. The room smelled really bad.
I walked over to his crib and saw that he clearly had a stomach bug. He had diarrhea that had come out of his diaper and was on his bedding too.
It’s at this moment I had a decision… do I call my wife in? Do I leave him and say, “clean it up yourself?” Do I pick him up?
It wasn’t even a decision.
I immediately picked him up and hugged him. I called his mom into the bathroom and she cleaned him off in the tub while I took his bedding to the wash.
That morning I though, as simple as that story is, it helps me see God, and how God sees me, so much clearer than some angry guy on the radio.
Perry Noble talks about a similar story in his book, Unleash.
My son couldn’t get out of his crib, couldn’t get out of his mess, couldn’t hide is mess, and needed his father to pick him up, clean him up, and clean his mess up. And when I heard him, I ran in to get him.
Two thoughts wreck me when I think about God and how he sees my sin.
1. He is fed up with my sin
2. He is embarrassed by my sin.
And it is there that I miss grace.
Grace says, you can never fall too far, mess up too much, push away too hard. I will always be there.
When I walked into Patrick’s room, it smelled, it was a mess, and he looked up at me and said, “dada, out?”
There wasn’t an option in my mind. I picked him up, pulled him close, and said that I was going to take care of him.
But Danielle and I didn’t just clean Patrick up then throw him back into his crib with a rag and a bucket to deal with his own mess.
We cleaned it up.
So when we laid him back down, his sheets were clean, his room smelled nice and he knew he was loved.
But we also don’t hold it against him.
The only time we may bring it up is when he is older and we could joke about it. We would look back and laugh and talk about his he has grown.
I know it is important to talk about repentance when we sin.
I know it is important to talk about conscious decision-making.
But at the end of the day, I think God wants us to know first that he is there no matter what, and he loves us no matter what.
I so often can think that when I mess up, God must be embarrassed with someone like me doing something like that.
The reality is God has seen it all.
He isn’t embarrassed.
He doesn’t run. He doesn’t leave you to your own mess.
Gods not embarrassed by your sin.
God’s heartbroken by it.
And what he wants to do is pull you close, clean you up, tell you everything is going to be ok, and give you a fresh start.