A few months ago on a Friday, there were some words exchanged in our home that led me to lock myself in the bathroom and get on my knees (Deep breath for those of you who thought being a pastor/pastor’s wife meant being immune from these kinds of things…).
The details are muddy, but I’m sure it involved being challenged by my husband, my pride getting dealt a good blow, and feeling offended.
I was nursing the wound with tender, loving care when I remembered my prayer from that morning, “Lord, help me to be quick to see my sin and take responsibility for it instead of blame-shifting.” It kind of hushed my heart for a minute to realize that (DARN IT!!) God was simply giving me an opportunity to grow in the way I had asked Him to just hours earlier.
In the past, my first instinct to being corrected has been DEFENSE. Hurt. Offense. Self-Absorption. Not believing the best about his motives.
Okay, so on this particular morning in the bathroom, I asked God for strength to change my mode of operation. I was feeling the pain of (what I thought was) an unkind rebuke. Instead of retaliation, I decided to just sit there and let it sting. To actually just feel the pain and look at it in the eye.
Was my husband right in what he said? Was his assessment of my selfishness spot on? I guess that activity is called Self-Confrontation and it’s what we’re supposed to do when we’re corrected and..well, what do ya know?… that’s actually the name of a Bible Study that I took for almost three years and let’s be honest…it’s a lot harder to DO than just read about.
Embracing the pain of the rebuke that morning felt synonymous to lying down on a bed of jagged glass shards. But instead of kicking against it and trying to avoid the inevitable, I tried to lean in to it. The shards…they had the potential to cut through me…to gut out the cancerous sin that so quickly spreads when it goes unchecked. I wanted them to. I needed them to. But, oh the pain.
Today, on this Good Friday, I’m reminded more than ever that the gospel IS good news even in circumstances like this. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can turn from our sin instead of trying to conceal it. We can stand unashamed because of mercy. We can learn from those in our lives who see things about us that we can’t see. We can rejoice because correction keeps us humble. We can look directly at our sin, our weakness, our shame and celebrate that it has been atoned for.