I still remember when I was a young preacher first feeling the pangs of guilt as I preached against a sin of which I was personally guilty. At that time I would have never let my guilt be known. As the years have passed and I have learned more of both God’s nature and my own sinful nature, I have come to realize that the Christian struggle with sin is deep, personal, and ever present. Preacher or not, we all struggle. In one of his most transparent chapters in the Bible the Apostle Paul confessed, “Oh wretched man that I am!” Romans 7:24
Some might say a preacher should never be so transparent. I say, I would not trust a preacher who only preaches against the sins of others, and claims none as his own. He’ll lie about other things too.
In Matthew 5, 6, 7 Jesus exposed the root and heart of sin. Sin comes from inside us, and is only truly understood when compared to the perfections of God. I wish doing away with sin was as simple as changing cloths… but sadly it is rooted too deep in our nature.
I confess... a sin Jesus exposed in the light of this text seems tightly anchored in my nature, and perhaps is my greatest personal struggle. It is so like Jesus to love His enemies… and so unlike me to love mine... but, oh how I want to love them! My want magnifies my failure.
It seems almost right at times to want to wrench vengeance from God’s hands. Yet… I know if Christ Jesus had felt the same then I, His former enemy, would never have become His friend. Oh wretched man that I am... Lord, please make me more like You!