Friday, June 5, 2015

Mourning For Myself And The Duggars

Matthew 5:3-12  gives us Jesus' Beatitudes as an introduction to His Sermon on the Mount. At a future time, I may do an in-depth study on this challenging passage, as I gratefully remember how the Holy Spirit used it to show me my lost condition just before He brought me to salvation. Today, however, I want to make a couple brief comments about verse 4 and two of its practical applications.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~~Matthew 5:4 (ESV)
Most of the commentaries I consulted about this verse agreed that the Lord specifically meant mourning over sin. I tend to favor this interpretation because it fits the context of the  sermon, flowing well from Matthew 5:3 and the idea of facing our own spiritual and moral bankruptcy.

First and foremost, I need to ask myself whether or not I grieve over sin in my life. If not, I clearly need the Holy Spirit to readjust my perspective until I understand  how He feels about it. Each time I go against His moral standards, even in ways that seem insignificant, I  forget that Jesus bled and died to atone for that thought, attitude or behavior. My sins offend a holy God. He paid a terrible price to save me from their eternal consequences.

The first time I mourned over my sin, God allowed me to  go through two gut-wrenching weeks of despair, knowing that I had failed to meet His righteous standards. But when a friend helped me understand that Jesus paid for my sin on the cross, accepting the punishment as though it belonged to Him, the Lord gave me the comfort of His forgiveness. And He gives me that comfort as I mourn over my present sin.

Secondarily, believers should mourn over the sins of others. I think of this point in juxtaposition to the unbridled glee that many people have exhibited this week over the exposure of Josh Duggar's molestation of his sisters. Those who rejoice in how this public revelation holds Duggar and his family up for ridicule display a horrible lack of love, since love doesn't rejoice in wrongdoing (see 1 Corinthians 13:6).

Certainly, Duggar committed a terrible crime, and sinned against a holy God. I can't justify his actions. But many people, rather than grieving that this young man violated his sisters, lost his own innocence, betrayed his parents' trust and sinned against God, unabashedly celebrate this "evidence" of Christian hypocrisy. What an inappropriate, self-righteous attitude!

Sin, whether our own or that of someone else, should create deep sorrow in us. Jesus assures us that He will comfort us in such mourning, and I  trust Him to be faithful.

1 comment:

  1. DebbieLynne your post reminds me of Moses (and there was another whom I cannot recall) who mourned at the sins of Israel as equivalent to his own sin, and also reminds me of Ezekiel chapter 9 passage that mentions the angel sealing the people with God's seal when they sighed and cried about the sin all around. This is much different than looking at people's sinfulness with self-righteous indignation (like the pharisees did). Romans chapter 2 (I think) reminds us to view it all (sin in others) with the remembrance of what we were saved from. Good post!

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