there is some saying that goes something like, you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. i, honestly, am too tired and lazy to look it up, but bear with me...
the point is Jonny Sharp brought it tonight in his message.
he dealt with Romans 1:26-31:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
powerful, powerful stuff there.
and that was the first point jonny made. but the fact of the matter is that we are sinners, therefore, our nature is that of sin. if we didn't have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and drawing us nearer to the nature of God, we would live in sin all the time.
and if that isn't enough of a blow to the ego, verses 29-31 will for sure punch you in the gut.
we are wicked, evil, greedy, depraved, arrogant, boastful, senseless, faithless, etc.
now, if you ask me to describe myself in a short list of adjectives, i certainly wouldn't use any of those words; but, because i was born a sinner and my nature is that of sin, those words are certainly not off the mark.
but one of the biggest things i took away from tonight's message is that sin is sin.
no sin or sinful desire is above or below another.
jonny mentioned one of the "taboo" words of church tonight: homosexuality.
i'm sure it made people feel uncomfortable, but i think he presented his case very well.
we tend to pinpoint and elevate certain sins as being "ultimate" sins.
but the fact of the matter is, sin is sin.
homosexuality breaks God's heart.
pride breaks God's heart.
lying breaks God's heart.
adultery breaks God's heart.
sin breaks God's heart.
and the fact of the matter is this, it's all the same. it separates us from knowing God intimately. all sin does. so why do we tend to put one under the microscope and analyze every single thing about someone who struggles with it?
jonny mentioned that one of the things he struggles with is pride.
i'm definitely in that same boat.
i tend to get jealous of others.
i tend to have a "holier-than-thou" attitude.
i tend to manipulate to get what i want.
i tend to judge based on outward appearance even though God knows the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)
"Our reaction to others' sins can cause just as much destruction as the sins themselves." -Jonny Sharp
so back to that pig in lipstick reference.
i can have a "holier than thou" attitude.
i can try and dress up my pig (my sin) and make it look pretty (make it seem "less bad").
but the truth is, it's still a pig (it still breaks God's heart).
but while this all seems pretty depressing, the fact of the matter is, i've been redeemed.
my slate has been wiped clean.
and i battle and struggle every day to make God's nature my own.
i'm drawn closer to Him by His perfect grace every single day. not of my own accord (because like i mentioned before, i have a sinful nature), but because of His love for me.
"Our desires lead us to destruction; His lead to blessings" -Jonny Sharp
we can't ever measure up.
we can try to "dress up our pigs" and make them look pretty but in the end they're just pigs.
we can try to minimize our sins to make ourselves look better but in the end we're still sinful by nature and will continue to live in our sin UNLESS we draw closer to Him and seek God with all our hearts.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. --Jeremiah 29:13
when we seek God with our entire heart, His nature will become like ours.
we will no longer be seeking pleasures for ourselves, we will be living for an eternal treasure that no earthly thing can compare to.