I’m pleased to have Janet Hanson, Bible teacher, speaker, and writer, as a guest blogger today. Janet’s wisdom leads others to a deeper knowledge of Jesus.
“It’s not so much that the Bible portrays us as worms groveling in the dirt, our every inclination evil,” the professor gently argued. “No, found in every chapter of God’s Word is the tragic story of human beings who are massively confused.”
The image of worms had captured my wandering, word-weary attention. I leaned with interest toward the podium as the speaker explained,
“In his book, City of God, St. Augustine reminds us of where we live—not yet in the eternal city where God is fully loved, nor in the God-defying city of the devil. But we dwell at the swirling confluence of those two opposing influences. The Bible names this place Babylon, which means, literally, Confusion.”
Confusion—it is the very atmosphere of our world. Read the newspaper—good people inexplicably permit great evil to flourish, the darkest of hearts astound us with unselfish acts of heroism.
Or read your own life. In every one of us, we find the stamp of the image of God, as well as sin working to erase all resemblance to Him. We betray ourselves, we astound ourselves, we disappoint ourselves—we are confused.
The Apostle Paul lamented, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me…what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me…(Romans 7:21-24)?”
Do you know what he’s talking about? Are you haunted by the memory of moments, of choices—of cruel words, of furtive, forbidden acts, or callous inattention that left others wounded, relationships broken—maybe even destroyed?
I confess that long after I have forgiven and forgotten what others have done to me, I nurse the shame of my own selfish betrayals, both petty and grievous. I want to be good, I want to love, and hate the ways I sabotage my own best intentions. Can you relate?
Fortunately, God is kinder to us than we are to ourselves.
To those of tender conscience who struggle to forgive our own failings, the Bible assures, “If our hearts condemn us; we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:20).”
Do you hear what the author of 1 John is saying? Never, while on our journey to becoming who God designed us to be, will we have a “perfect” day. We will get confused, we will let Him and others down, and our hearts will point fingers of regret.
But we can, every day, be grateful. God is bigger, and knows us better, and, to those who join hearts and lives with His Son, gives the sweet gift of forgiveness, and the firm grip of His Spirit to lead us home.