It’s ironic that I am writing a post like this following the last one posted here. Yes, “Guilty!” is the right title. Some of you who follow my thoughts around the Internet know that I have been embroiled in the last couple days in a rather ugly back-and-forth between myself, disappointed friends, friends cheering me on, and a man I have never met.
It would do little good to recap the ugliness here. It is not profitable. But what I do want to say is this: I am guilty. I am a sinner. Were it not for the grace of God, I would never and could never gain eternal life. I don’t deserve it. From time-to-time in our Christian lives, we are confronted with our sinfulness in such a way that we have an opportunity to grow closer to or further from God. I experienced both in this circumstance. I am glad to say that coming out of this experience I am repentant and have been humbled and have learned some important lessons.
My sin amounted to this: I called a professing brother in Christ on the carpet in a way that was harsh, unnecessary, and which resulted in strife, even between those brothers and sisters whom I have come to love the most. What I said I believe to be true. That’s not the point. The point was the sinful manner in which this was communicated.
By the way, it felt quite good to say what I said. It made me feel quite superior in my flesh. So good, in fact, that for a while, it masked the conviction of the Holy Spirit on my heart. I put it away. But as good as God is, He chose a friend to share His Word and His Word very quickly and sharply divided my thoughts and intents into clearly-defined actions of filth.
As a result, I was humbled. It was difficult to own up to my sin. My reputation among some had been tarnished. My credibility as a follower of Christ was certainly called into questions. I had to eat crow. But the reason I began to try to right the wrongs I did was not for my own reputation. It was not even to gain back the sweet fellowship with some whom I had disappointed. It was because I had contributed to hurting the cause of Christ.
Here’s the biggest lesson I learned: when I speak whether in person, in print, or online, I am not only speaking for Brian McCrorie. I am speaking for Jesus Christ. I am His ambassador. I speak in Christ’s stead. Doesn’t that somber you? It did me. I began to realize that something I thought was just and necessary for the reputation of Christ actually worked to its detriment.
If you don’t know what I am talking about, I wouldn’t encourage you to delve. I’m not proud of it…not now. I have sought the forgiveness of those whom I am offended and believe I have received it. For that, I’m thankful.
Why even write about this? Why not just let it go away? With time, wounds will heal…perhaps, right? I need to acknowledge my own sinful depravity. I am a proud person. Humility is what I need. Accountability is what I desire. I am not someone to set on a pedastool. As Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
I choose to have an Internet presence because I am passionate about the worship of God. I want to influence people in this regard. I want them to love the Lord with all their heart. I want them to see the work of Christ in me. That means sometimes you need to see all the way inside my heart to the struggles of my soul.
Would you pray for me that God will strengthen my desire to please Him and not myself? That I would continue to pursue gentleness as a servant of the Lord and not strife? That I would be honest in my dealings with others?