I had the wonderful opportunity recently to attend a Living Proof Live conference with Beth Moore. I know we have a lot of great speakers here at Keswick, and I do get to a lot of the meetings, but sometimes it can be very hard to focus on the message because my mind is thinking of the stuff I have to do in the office, what’s happening at the book tables, emails that have to be answered, offerings that have to be counted…. you get the idea. So for me, getting away to a conference somewhere else gives me the opportunity to really focus on what is being shared. It was fun to run into a bunch of Keswick friends there – in the midst of close to 10,000 women. Maybe you were there, too, and I just didn’t see you.
I think one of the things Beth said that impacted me the most was that “the gospel is most appealing when we find ourselves most appalling.” So, I confess, I’m one of those people who grew up in church, accepted the Lord at a young age, lived for youth group on the weekends, went to Bible college, and now work in full-time Christian ministry. I’m what most of the world would call a “good girl.” And it can be really easy to think of myself that way. But the truth is, my sin isn’t prettier or less in any way than anyone else’s. My sin nailed Jesus to the cross. Period. If I get to the end of the day and can’t think of a single thing to confess, then I need spiritual glasses to see myself more clearly. See, it’s always easier to see someone else’s faults – sins – but so easy to overlook my own. Until I find my own sin as appalling as God does, then the gospel just isn’t nearly as sweet to me as it should be.
Our culture wants to take sin out of the equation. We don’t like to talk about sin – it makes us feel bad. But if we don’t call sin – sin, then there is no need for repentance. Without repentance, there can be no revival – no change. If repentance is irrelevant, then our condition is irreversible.
Lord, help me to see my sin clearly, and to find it as appalling as You do, so that I can find your gospel more and more appealing.
Ruth Schmidt is on full-time staff at America’s Keswick, and grateful to be a daughter of the King.