14 April 2009

Repent you sluggard, you violent man, you scoffer... (supplement to "Cheating the Thief")

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. (2 Corinthians 7:9)
It is healthy to confront sin. Without confrontation, there is no grief and, without grief, there is no repentance and, without repentance, there is no change. There has been a little buzz lately about the message from Week 2 of Cheating the Thief and Mark Driscoll's message to men from 1 Peter 3:7 (posted here on 3/28/09). Whatever the substance of the buzz, we should be attentive to the mission of the Holy Spirit.
he [the Holy Spirit] will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16.8)
While I believe the Holy Spirit is the ultimate authority on what each man must do to make things right, here are a few suggestions for each of the proverbial wasters we discussed in Week 2 of Cheating the Thief.

The Sluggard
1. See that your laziness is extracting (stealing) value from the world and burdening people.

2. Confess your laziness to your family and friends. Confess specifically how you have avoided the most important things and indulged in lesser things. 

3. Ask them how they have been affected by this sin. Listen to their response.

4. Persistently ask God to help you get serious about:
  • Your vision
  • Your roles
  • Your time management
  • Your budget
  • Your faith in God’s protection and spiritual provision
5.  Make a plan this week to get to these things, have someone close help you keep it.

The Violent Man
1. See that your violence is killing your victims. 

2. Confess your sinful control to those you have hurt and to those in authority over you.  If there is no one in authority over you, refer to the section on the Scoffer below - you probably fit that one to.  
Who do you need to speak to?
  • Wife
  • Kids
  • Co-workers
  • Friends
3. Ask these people to tell you how your control and demanding ways have affected them.

4. Persistently ask God help you grow in understanding his Sovereignty and your depravity.

5. Look for mentors who can help you and be transparent with them.  If you won't be transparent, don't waste their time.

6. If you have broken the law in any way (e.g. in physical or sexual abuse, unethical business practice, etc.) turn yourself in.

The Scoffer
1. See that your scoffing is destroying God ordained community and structure.

2. Assignment: Write down the name of everyone for whom you have a critical thought in the next two days.

3. Go to the closest ones and ask for their forgiveness and ask them to help you see how your scoffing has affected them.

4. Tell those in authority over you that you struggle with their authority and ask for their forgiveness.

5. Intentionally put yourself in “low man on the pole” positions of service to your co-workers and your church.  Look for ways to make things right - especially if it bugs you.

6. Read "A Tale of Three Kings: A Study In Brokeness" by Gene Edward Veith. 

Some of these things are radical but, if attended with the right motives, it will be radical things that will usher in times of refreshing.  2 Corinthians 7:10-11:
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter (2 Corinthians 7.10-12)


Post a Comment