Thursday night, Brian and I joined some friends at North Point’s Night of Worship. We spent the evening in prayer, communion and all encompassing praise. Naturally, at one point during the performances, there was a worship leader who began to share with us her story. Even though little detail was given besides the typical, “I was at rock bottom”, I found myself wondering what kind of circumstance she came from and thanking God for her deliverance.
In the same sanctuary, I also found myself disappointed at the behavior of some of the other believers. There were kids running around the back of the sanctuary making all sorts of noise. Shouldn’t the parents have had enough respect for God’s worship time that they kept their children quiet? Shouldn’t the people next to them have spoken up about the distraction? Shouldn’t they have been embarrassed about this commotion and request forgiveness?
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned.” - NIV
One of the hardest truths for Christians to grasp is that we who believe in Him are not condemned. We generally have trouble telling an unbeliever this wonderful truth. Our difficulty most often comes in applying it to fellow believers. How prone we are to notice others’ sins, and even to hold those sins against them!
We actually enjoy hearing the testimonies of those who lived in gross rebellion, only to encounter Christ and be radically transformed. Praise God for those testimonies! They are trophies of God’s grace, and we are right to rejoice in their radical conversions.
But we often shun those who struggle with sin after professing Christ, as though sanctification were an instantaneous event. We forget that grace is ongoing. Sin is so deeply embedded in us that the vestiges of it will be manifested frequently for the rest of our lives.
I have often heard that believers are capable of walking a straight path, but, we will always walk with a limp.