Sometimes, I really resent God for confronting my innate sinfulness, calling me to repent and demanding that I be holy just as He is holy. I want life on my terms, and I want everything to be about me. Furthermore, I don’t want to confess my sins in my prayer time or read the Bible because I don’t like God pointing out my sin.
Can’t He let me feel good about myself?
I don’t mind if He confronts other people, and it’s perfectly fine if He uses me in the process! Happy to be of service! But even then, He addresses my hypocrisy:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ~~Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)
He’s preoccupied, apparently, with my repentance…with bringing me to holiness. He seems to think that He owns me, and consequently has every right to expect me to live for Him. He challenges my egocentric attitudes, letting me know how often, and how utterly, I fail Him.
Of course, being an all-knowing God, He’s fully aware that sometimes I wish He’d just accept my sin and let me enjoy it. He’s not at all fooled by my outward shows of piety. In fact, He sees my depravity much more clearly than I ever will, and He mercifully shows it to me just a glimpse at a time, knowing that I would be despondent if He revealed the full truth of who I am all at once.
But if I sometimes resent His exposure of my sin and His expectation of my repentance, most of the time I appreciate His faithfulness to bring me to holiness. He loves me enough to desire that I bear His nature, so He lovingly lets me undergo the pain of discipline.
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ~~Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)
And the very pain that I resent brings me joy. It assures me that, in spite of all my rebellion and failings, He sees me as His child!