Reflections of Gospel-Driven Repentance: Whose in Control?Tuesday, January 29, 2008
While in the discovery process of a person's repentance, a key area to focus on is the status of the pride in the fallen brother or sister's heart. Everybody has some operating in their hearts. It's really inescapable since we are born in sin. That fact alone means it's woven into the very fabric of our soul.
A major way in which pride shows itself in the behavior of the fallen Christian is a desire to control the process or the outcome. If I had to name the single most significant impediment to the restoration process, especially in cases where men have sinned sexually, it is the desire to maintain some control over the process, whether great or small. In most cases, they are just not willing to do whatever is asked of them...unless they have been able to bargain in some way with those expectations.
- When key questions are asked and there is resistance to answering with adequate or complete detail and explanation, they are in control.
- When questions are asked about what needs to be given up or surrendered in order to fully give oneself over to true repentance and restoration, and the person exhibits ambivalence and non-compliance, they are maintaining control of the situation.
- When he or she bristles or squirms at reasonable and wise requests that are made, they are holding on to control.
- If such a person was in a position of leadership, the way they accept their removal will reveal whether or not they desire to maintain some control.
- But when a person realizes their sin, sees it the way God does, feels the burden and gravity of its consequences, and is in agony over the fall, he or she will hardly ever resist any requests.
- If they are truly broken they will place themselves in a position to be humbled, and realize that they really have no right to ask anything of anyone. Such humility will accept any help, counsel, or wisdom that is given.
- Such a person truly has a divine view of their sin when they genuinely expect nothing and desperately accept everything.