A Heart that Mourns
Matthew 5:4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
As Christians, our hearts are to react to sin like a hand to a hot stove. So how do we develop a greater sensitivity to our sin? How do we develop this mourning that leads to blessedness and comfort?
Developing a heart that mourns rightly
- Consider the holiness of God. We need a clear vision of the holiness of God’s glory. Consider God as He is without spot blemish, perfect, utterly moral, beautiful in every way, no darkness, no stain, no shadow. Let his glory humble you. Isaiah 6:1ff: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Now consider, how will you stand before him?
- Consider the nature of sin as opposition to God. Fight the tide of culture that accepts, adjusts for, and accommodates sin. Do not slip into thinking of sin in amoral terms as if its merely a mistake, error or lapse in judgment. If you cut a board too short that is a mistake but if you lie that is sin. Avoid categorizing sin. In other words, watch your tendency to limit sin to rape, murder and adultery and yet give passing glance to lying, pornography, anger, selfishness, unforgiveness or pride. Please do not embrace the rhetoric of the day in dealing with sin, such as "as long as they are in love, as long as no one is hurt, they're consenting adults, who are we to judge." All these perspectives are atheistic in their approach for they deny God as Creator. Do not limit the ugliness of your sins to its impact (i.e. if no one is hurt, no big deal). All sin is against God. Venning said, "Consider that no sin against a great God can be strictly a little sin."
- Remind yourself of the destructiveness of sin. View sin from the disastrous fruit of its consequences. Walk out the possible repercussions of the sins that you find so enticing. Consider Prov 5:7f, "And now, O sons, listen to me,â€¨and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her,â€¨and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to othersâ€¨and your years to the merciless, lest strangers take their fill of your strength,â€¨and your labors go to the house of a foreigner."
- Repent daily and specifically for your sins. Make regular a practice of self-examination to see the areas of life where we have come up short. Repentance is to acknowledge you are a sinner as well as experience sorrow and grief over that sin. Repentance sees sins as against God’s glorious character. Repentance involves open confession of your specific actions, attitudes against God and to those we have sinned against - friends, family, etc. The first of Luther’s 95 Theses is that a life of repentance and contrition is essential to true Christianity. Look at life in the home, ethical conduct in business, integrity in life. If you have trouble, then ask God and if you need help ask your spouse. Consider Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
- Remember the beauty of the forgiveness that the Cross brings. For those who still struggle with their sins of the past and see them as uglier as time passes consider Jesus and his cross bringing forgiveness. Do not walk in crushing condemnation, but rather look to the Christ who releases such weights. "There is therfore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1).
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