May 7, 2011 // Posted by Brad Hoffmann //
Ever been disgusted – disappointed with someone or something? I get that way from time to time. Sometimes it’s at me and at other times it’s with someone or something else. Maybe it’s when my choleric and melancholy converge and overflow. But then, wisdom (patience) gets the best of me – since patience is wisdom.
Have you ever stopped to ponder the patience of God? How often must He be disappointed or disgusted with His creatures? Yet, God’s is patient as 2 Peter 3:9 reads, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” He is patient with the non-believer. He is patient with the believer. His grace and mercy demonstrated in his forbearance.
I look at the landscape asking, “What’s taking so long, Lord?” When is it enough? I see the willful disobedience and disregard for the things of God by a self-god culture. It’s the consuming selfishness of mankind – a glimpse into depravity. I see a world chasing after gods, yet ignoring or rejecting the one true God. Then when you look at the church, it’s not much better. Portrayed weekly – blatant hypocrisy and disregard for the gospel. People, who know better, yet choose less than a surrendered abandonment to Jesus. We ought to always live in the shadow of the cross. Unfortunately, religion lives in the shadow of self becoming the force of opinions – the war of ideologies and generations.
After I’ve had my season of disgust with others, to be fair, I must look at myself. Am I surrendered? Am I abandoned? Am I living in the shadow of the cross? Am I completely dependent on Jesus? Have I repented? Have I allowed God to search my heart and identify those things which displease Him? Have I rejected self? Have I chosen to identify with Him? All of a sudden, I can’t point fingers in disgust, but am compelled to view others and their situations through His eyes – with a broken heart. My heart aches for this field in which I serve – for the churches and community both. I long for a city which truly lives in the shadow of the cross.
Where do you reside?