Where Candor Meets the Cross

The other day a phenomenal article came across my reader. I loved it for so many reasons—not the least for it honesty.

The Life of Faith in a Life in Crisis

I love candor. I love transparency; that sort of no-holds-barred-this-is-who-I-am-in-light-of-His-love glimpse that is so rare among us today. It’s ragged. Real. And yes, sometimes it’s downright messy.

Let me be plain: I’m not talking about some boastful brand of self-regurgitation (ala Dr. Phil). No, I mean the vulnerability that whispers, “This is me; the real me. And this is how I look when I leave the shadows of self and step into the light of His grace. ‘… formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy… and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me…  The saying is [true]… Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.'” [1] 

Interesting, isn’t it? This letter to Timothy, written decades after Paul’s salvation and miles into his missionary journeys, recorded the rather embarrassing claim—“chief of sinners.” Why? Because it’s there at the intersecting beams of candor and the Cross that we find the heart of Jesus. Because on the heels of self-abandon comes praise.

“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:16-17)

Something I read from Calvin this morning; lengthy for a quote, but so typical of our God. I just love this…

 “Of lame, blind, withered. For the purpose of informing us that the diseases cured by our Lord were not of an ordinary kind, the Evangelist enumerates some classes of them; for human remedies could be of no avail to the lame, blind, and withered. It was indeed a mournful spectacle, to see in so large a body of men so many kinds of deformities in the members; but yet the glory of God shone more brightly there than in the sight of the most numerous and best disciplined army.

For nothing is more magnificent than when an unwonted power of God corrects and restores the defects of nature; and nothing is more beautiful or more delightful than when, through his boundless goodness, he relieves the distresses of men. For this reason the Lord intended that this should be a splendid theatre, in which not only the inhabitants of the country, but strangers also, might perceive and contemplate His majesty; and, as I have already suggested, it was no small ornament and glory of the temple, when God, by stretching out his hand, clearly showed that He was present.”[2]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Ti 1:13–15.

[2] John Calvin and William Pringle, Commentary on the Gospel According to John (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2010), Jn 5:3.

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2 thoughts on “Where Candor Meets the Cross

  1. “on the heels of self-abandon comes praise.” Self-abandonment is the key, and God forbid that the blessings of His outstretched hand should become the very things that make us boast in self again – that we should turn His gifts of grace to idols and His bright glory into a lame, blind golden calf. Oh Lord, heal us of our greatest ill, our stiff necks and self-absorption. (Don’t really know how your excellent post triggered this reaction. I must be talking to myself again. Maybe i need to re-read it.)

  2. I am delighted to hear that you are “talking to yourself”! What an answer to prayer! That means that your gaze is trained on HIM.

    And could I just say — that golden calf? Ok. That strikes a little close to home tonight. God has been dealing with me on that very topic. (Ouch!)

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