Sunday, March 25, 2012

When God Makes Things Ugly

We face different crisis in our lives. Some of these crises are brought about by sin (either our own or others), Satan, and the natural effects of sin in a fallen world (such as death by old age). However, there is another type of crisis that Christians may encounter as well: when God makes something we treasure, ugly.

For instance, as I write this, a particular desire of mine that I have been wrestling with for several years, has become quite ugly. God exposed this desire in all of its ugliness and revealed it for what it was: an idol that took the place of Him.

Tim Lane and Paul Tripp write in their outstanding book How People Change, "What false lovers entice you to forget your true husband the faithfulness he deserves? Why do we worship other things in place of Christ? Quite simply, we worship what we find attractive. We allow many things to eclipse the beauty of Christ. We devote our hearts to our jobs, other people, a state of mind (comfort, security), success, power, peace or money. We may have many options before us, but we cannot get our identity from these things [p. 50]."

One of the ways God tends to break us from these false "beauties" is by exposing them in all their ugliness. This, of course, leads us to a crisis. Whenever a false god has taken the place of the True God and is then removed, we are forced to reorient our lives. It is a tough situation, but one that can be successfully navigated by throwing ourselves upon the grace of Jesus.

So when your idols are exposed for all their ugliness and you enter into crisis, celebrate! Know that our God is a passionate, loving God. He desires all of your affection and will not settle for you loving ugly things.

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