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“Character is what you are in the dark.”

Yesterday the Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized for "crude and hurtful" remarks he made about Sen. Barack Obama after an interview with a Fox News correspondent. An open microphone picked up Jackson whispering, "See, Barack's been talking down to black people ...”

Have you ever been there before? I sure have. I’ve been caught saying out loud what is in my head. My usual response is “Well, I didn’t really mean that.” The truth is - I did.

Now I am not advocating saying everything you feel out loud. The Scriptures are clear that we are to mingle truth with love and keep a tight reign on our tongue. What I am saying is that what you think inside is who you really are. D.L. Moody once said “Character is what you are in the dark.”

The answer to this problem is not to apologize and deny the thoughts we are actually thinking. The answer is to be transformed. Our only hope is to place ourselves at the mercy of the Holy Spirit to change who we really are on the inside into who God wants and sees us to be.

As a pastor, I often see people who justify their sin and dysfunction simply because they do not want to go through the pain (and it can be painful) of being

transformed by God. I have all to often seen that pattern in my life as well. What other hope do I have? What other choice do I have that will bring me freedom from the patterns that enslave me? I can apologize once again to save face and assuage my guilt or I can cry out with Paul:

Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:24-25a

May the church learn to cry.

Originally published on 07/10/2008




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