One of the first fashion rules we learn as women as to not let your undergarments show. I remember standing in front of my mom or dad when I was would finish getting dressed and ask them: is my slip showing? Some of the “rules” for dressing modestly is not to let your bra strap show, have no seen panty line, and make sure when you raise your arms that your stomach (or maybe that belly button ring) doesn’t show. Same goes for guys: no girl in their right mind would want to see your butt crack (even if you were fixing their dishwasher) and we don’t want to see your boxers. That’s why they make belts. Now they make really cool fashion tape that allows women to get away with wearing shirts that are too low cut and they shouldn’t be wearing anyway – but hey, if you have fashion tape, doesn’t that make it ok?
Think along these lines for letting our sin show? We are so careful to act holy around other people. When a circumstance brings out our less-than-best Christian behavior, why are we sorry? Are we sorry that someone found out that we weren’t perfect or that we sinned?
Yesterday as my husband and I were talking, I tried to blame my egotistical attitude on everything but what it was: a non-gentle and quiet spirit. When I awoke this morning, that was the first thing that came to my mind, and I didn’t want to face him. Being married to someone doesn’t allow much time for you to hide your sin. So, I stayed up in the master while he had his quiet time on the couch, I didn’t talk to him much, because I was so sorry that he had again seen a non-beautiful side of me. Someone once told me years ago that gentle and quiet was simply not me, I wasn’t that, and wouldn’t be that. Moments when pride and control come out in me are times when I believe that.
Then today, my sweet husband, as he usually does, reminded me that grace is given. Grace upon grace, He gives more grace. I need much more grace than my husband does it so seems in our marriage. I actually asked him yesterday if he could mess up more so that I wouldn’t seem so bad. I know the poor theology/sanctification thought there. And I said it with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock,
in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
I had to wonder though: was I more upset that he saw an ugly side of me or was I more upset that I had sinned against him and a holy God. God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the only person who doesn’t need grace given. He is the dispenser of grace – much needed grace.
So, my question: when others see your sin: does pride well up in you because someone saw that you aren’t perfect, or are you grieved by the presence of indwelling sin in your life? Ask forgiveness (for both the sin and the pride), repent, receive grace, and move on. Don’t live in the failure of that past sin.