Good News About Bad News

When the light of God’s truth shines on our weakness and failure, we see the futility of self-righteousness and realize that the only sensible response is to stop pretending things aren’t so bad. They are! Spiritual renewal and transformation require that we repent, which means to acknowledge and turn from our sins. But we cannot truly repent until we see ourselves as we are, as we all are: flawed, unholy, in need of redemption and complete reformation.
Good News

It is, after all, our shortcomings, losses, failures, fears, and needs that drive us to God. Rarely does anyone seek God when life is problem free. Seldom do they appreciate his love when surrounded by friends and family. Rarely do they appreciate his grace and forgiveness when they’re not suffering the consequences of their sin.

Many people who get started in the process of renewal get stuck because they are unwilling to make an assessment of themselves; for people who believe in nothing beyond themselves, the idea of conducting a searching moral inventory is a frightening thing.

Seeing truth and accepting reality will cause discomfort, not giddy excitement or a surge of ambition. But spiritual renewal results when our discomfort leads us to the Cross, and ultimately to the crucifixion of self, as the apostle Paul described when writing to the church in Galatia: “I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20).

Daily death to self is the beginning of a life filled with the power of the living Christ.

Excerpted from “Seven Keys to Spiritual Renewal” by Steve Arterburn


One Comment

  1. Tanya October 31, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I will be sharing this in my Celebrate Recovery group tonight, but since it is so timely, this seems a perfect place to give my confession for all the world to see.

    Today’s right-on devotional subject has arisen in my mind several times over recent weeks: I had to recognize my tendency to acquire a certain type of sin to which I had thought myself immune – that is, lying to give a better impression. I think many would consider what I’d been doing lately to be mere exaggeration. But as a person who once stopped and reviewed and counted details before speaking, I suddenly realized a besetting sin had snuck up on me.

    For several months, due to necessary family business, I have had to speak more often than usual with my brother, who is clearly anti-Christ. With this sibling’s discounting of about anything I have to say, he effectively calls me a liar several times in every conversation. Recently I read in a Bible App devotional words of Rick Warren,
    “Whatever you resent, you begin to resemble.”

    Hence it dawned, ‘not only do I have a forgiveness problem with my brother, but lately I have picked up his fashion for tweaking events; and I am doing so to make myself look better.’
    Thus I wrote myself a note:
    “How subtly exaggeration, which is actually lying, becomes a mode of retaliation or attempt to prove what I don’t have to prove. I have allowed my interaction with lying, non-hearing character to undermine my work toward the righteousness that comes only from God. Before I say ‘thrice,’ when the fact is ‘twice,’ I need to stop, consider what is the fact, and stay silent.”

    Here I want to let you know how much New Life has helped me with my ‘brother problem.’ Dr. Stoop had once told a listener who wanted to have a “fix-it” conversation with her brother that she didn’t have to. I have harkened back to that advice many times. It gets me to think about, when I am piqued, whether I want revenge or rectification. One might not be able to avoid such a talk with a husband or child, but with an adult sibling, it is most often optional. It is surprising how often inspection proves revenge to be my motive for thinking I need such a talk. So now I am dealing with both my own lying and my will to vengeance. Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!
    Thank you for this, and much more that is continually applicable to my emotional and spiritual growth.

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