Saturday, August 11, 2007

Guilty, innocent, or in between?

Our answers and responses usually indicate far more than the words we speak. A politician who suddenly becomes upset and even angry at a simple question has just told us a lot about himself. A sarcastic defensive retort tells everyone that there just might be something to the charge. If we're innocent, then there's no need for an emotional response. Good leaders shouldn't be easily provoked, and doing the right thing needs no defense.

Old Testament Scripture gives a good test for discerning truth or lie. The person in question was given bitter dust to eat. If he had been lying, strong physical symptoms would be his dead give away. If he had been truthful, the dust would have no effect. His immune system proved strong enough to withstand the test. The guilty succumb while the innocent are unscathed.

Living with guilt and bitterness soon evidences itself and affects all of our dealings. Jesus said that which enters a man does not defile him, but that which comes out. Whatever we allow in makes its home and will soon produces its fruit, good or bad. No amount of stoic self control will succeed in masking the true self. The damage is done internally and externally.

Paul also gives a humility check. Being quick to critically condemn others only indicates that we are just as guilty. The critical, negative spirit, the cutting words and angry responses only serve to condemn ourselves and prove to others that control is an issue.

Unfortunately even partial guilt can produce the same defensive tendencies. Teflon works best with an unflawed surface. Nothing sticks. Power, influence and health are nice benefits for remaining not guilty. Thanks to the Lord for being the only one who can wipe the slate clean and produce an immune system that enjoys innocense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I am not sure that we have met. We may have met while I studied in KY, but I doubt I would have left much of an impression. We have dozens of mutual acquaintances, but without proper introductions and conversations it all appears like name dropping. All I can tell you is that you have unknowingly been one of my role models as a Christian in the music field. I have been inspired by your Christ centered life for over a decade.

Most recently we crossed paths in Toronto. I was there the week after your operation, and had the same procedure. I had never experienced first hand what a blessing it actually is to give up my earthly treasures in such a fashion…”Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature, and complete, not lacking anything."
I found it such a blessing to not play for the past couple of months. Having the “future” so tangibly removed from my control was the greatest blessing! We all, as Christians, strive to say we understand God is in control and we trust him, but there is always that delicate balance between saying that and working to not be the last person in the parable of the talents. After the first month off I found myself continually thanking God for the surgery no matter the outcome. In my new free time I found lots of extra time for scripture study, and my continued study in apologetics.

I have recently started playing again, and the early results are astounding. It feels better than ever, even with my limitations. I have no doubt by Dec I should play easier than I ever have. I am constantly praying that the Lord use this return to playing in his service only, and that I will not let it become it’s own “god.” One of the ministries I support is that of Ravi Zacharias. He is an astounding apologist, the C.S. Lewis of our time. He articulated the idea of art becoming too much of our lives by saying that when man becomes the measure of all things the next logical question is “Which man?” That is always the rainbow over the horizon. We are always chasing art for art’s sake. It is easy to do, because what God has given us in the way of music is breathtaking.

When I ran into your blog I wanted to let you know that I have appreciated your example as a Christian and a musician. I wish you all the best.

-Thank you.

(Because this is appearing as a blog, I did not want to give out any personal information, but would love to talk anytime.)