I’m in the middle of seven books. I know. That’s ridiculous. I’m sure you’re thinking that I’m terribly forgetful or suffering from ADD. It’s probably more of a combination of the two. If a book is hard, then I go slowly through it, so it causes me to pause a lot and I end up reading a review of another book that sounds interesting so I give it a whirl. Or someone gives me a book. Or someone makes a suggestion about a book, so I look for it online, get it, and start reading that one, not realizing that the pile is growing. Before long, I’ve got seven books beside my bed and I’m scurrying to renew books online…it’s a crazy life. I do eventually finish the books and let others know my opinion (like it matters! Ha!).
I love reading fiction, but I also love biographies and books on spiritual topics, too. My sister suggested a book called Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George, so I’m adding it to my pile. A friend at church recommended The Invisible Hand: Do all Things Really Work for Good? by R.C. Sproul and if you read my blog, you know I love his books! Another friend in church recommended a book called Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul David Tripp. I’d heard of him, but never read one of his books. Well, I am now. It’s one of “the seven” and let me tell you, it’s great. Something I read this week smote me between the eyes. And yes,I just used the word “smote”, that’s another reason to worry about me. Anyway, here’s the quote that I just have to share:
Sin lives in a costume; that’s why it’s so hard to recognize. The fact that sin looks so good is one of the things that make it so bad. In order for it to do its evil work, it must present itself as something that is anything but evil. Life in a fallen world is like attending the ultimate masquerade party. Impatient yelling wears the costume of zeal for truth. Lust can masquerade as love for beauty. Gossip does its evil work by living in the costume of concern and prayer. Craving for power and control wears the mask of biblical leadership. Fear of man gets dressed up as a servant heart. The pride of always being right masquerades as love for biblical wisdom. Evil simply doesn’t present itself as evil, which is part of its draw.
from Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy, page 32.
I read that paragraph, and stopped. (This is one of the books I’m taking slowly.) I rolled the words around in my mind. I’m ashamed to admit that I often catch myself thinking “I’m doing okay on the not-sinning-a-lot thing.” And maybe I am, on the outside, but my heart is nowhere near sinless. The words above hurt, but they are also helping me as I continue to mediate on them. I’m a sinner, yes, no argument there! But I’ve been saved from that sin by a sinless, holy, perfect Savior. I don’t want to wallow in sin, or self-pity for that sin. I want to confess it and trust a risen Savior for grace to do better.
These words have given me food for thought for several days. Maybe they will bless you as they have me.