What if the Truman Show were real? What if our neighbors could watch a behind-the-scenes, secret expose of our lives? What if every conversation we had with our spouse, children, parents, business associates, and neighbors were transcribed for all to read? Worse yet, what if the audience could read our minds and understand the horrid affections and thoughts of my heart?
What would they find? They would find us …
- Disbelieving the goodness and wisdom of God
- Far too fascinated by the fake news of the devil
- Lacking divine affection
- Lacking brotherly love
- Fanatically in love with ourselves
- Willing to morph in order to please men and promote ourselves
- Willing to use and abuse in order to worship ourselves
- Far more concerned more with reputation than character
- Pretty skilled at hiding our sin
- Not so disgusted by evil
- Too worldly and materialistic
- Too undisciplined and lacking self-control
- Too prayerless
- Too lusty
- Too angry
- Too thankless
- Too slow to forgive
What would they do? They would …
- Gasp with self-righteous horror
- Shake their heads and wag their tongues
- Call us hypocritical, double-minded people
- Deem us unfit for ministry
Therefore, we are all encouraged — by the devilish world, our devilish flesh, and the devil himself — to lower God’s standards, pretend we are OK, compare ourselves with others, hide our transgressions and sins, forsake the honest confession of our sins to others, and keep the self-righteous facade moving along.
But the Truman Show is not so far-fetched. We are completely uncovered. There are no secret sins:
Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether … Where shall I go from your Spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence?
That is the bad news, but how about some good news. What if I told you …
God is the one who knows us best; he is the one who knows our worst; and he is the one who loves us most.
Before we were created, he loved us.
Before we came forth from the womb, he loved us.
Before we committed any sin, he knew the full nature and number of our sins, loved us, lived for us, and died for us.
There is no sin he didn’t see coming.
There is no sin he didn’t providentially ordain and allow.
There is no sin outside his loving atonement.
And now he calls us blameless, pure, spotless, and holy saints only because of his substitutionary righteousness and satisfactory condemnation.
And every now and then, he puts enough people who realize these Gospel truths together, and they make up a grace-based family.
So how should we respond?
1) Pray a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. Before a word was on your tongue, he choose you to be his adopted bride. Before you did anything, before you “cooperated” in any way, he determined you to be his own. Relax and enjoy the undeserved grace of your loving Lord.
2) Continue to pray Psalm 133, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Regularly go through the process of reading the scriptures, seeing your sin, seeing your Savior, and supplicating that he might allow you to practice your sainthood more and more. This is what we do as we are internally transformed by God’s good Spirit and Word.
3) Receive and reciprocate the grace. Let’s be the grace-based family. Do not look with self-righteous and pompous disgust at those who sin. Sure, hate their sin with all your might, but look at them through tear-filled eyes. And then, go get them, reclaim them, and bring them back into the fold of God. Bring them back into your local church family — the one filled with hypocritical, double-minded, sinful people, unfit for ministry, but loved by God and called by his Spirit to minister.