Yesterday the news went wild with the most recent story about Josh Duggar. Apparently, he has led a double life. Though he presented himself as a loving husband and father, devote Christian and family values activist, he had hidden affairs, watched pornography and essentially did everything he publically spoke out against while hidden in darkness. He issued a public statement calling himself a hypocrite and that appears to be true. Some say I shouldn’t care about this. But the truth is, I really, really do.
I grew up in a Christian leaders home with two parents who deeply loved me. Though they worked hard to teach me right from wrong, I just didn’t get my need for a savior. I kind of liked the draw of the world and felt embarrassed by my families sometimes rigid rules. When I entered my preteen years, I began to rebel and started to push strongly against the boundaries my parents had put up to keep my safe. By the time I was a teenager, boys were my focus, music was my god and I was determined to make the world my playground.
A Wretch Like Me
Now lots of things happened in my life between those teenage years and now that really humbled my heart. Health issues, miscarriages, kids with illnesses and disabilities. Dreams lost and forgotten, hope deferred, the lost of relationship with my younger sister, and frankly and even most important some really dumb decisions on my part that needed a lot of grace and forgiveness from others for me to recover. You see, my pathway to humility and a true understanding of my need of a savior came through heartache, stumbles, bumbles and outright sin. It came from failing loved ones and desperately wanting and needing their forgiveness… when I knew I didn’t deserve it at all. It came when my life crumbled and instead of being haughty and high-minded I was crushed. Yes. It was in my darkest hour that I truly found Jesus and I understood only with him I could go on. Perhaps this is why I so deeply resonate with the hymn Amazing Grace.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
Such a deeply humble line where a composer admitted from the depths of his heart that was truly despicable or vial person. A line where he admitted he was so low, he desperately needed saving.
I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.
Surrounded by the utter darkness of hopelessness. No way out. No way out without rescue. I can’t do it on my on. But now I see, I don’t have to do it on my own. I can rest safely in the arm of a living God and finally have peace!
You see, being a Christian is not about having it all figured out. It’s not about living a perfect life nor is it about looking down our noses at people who live differently than we do. If you’re doing that, and calling yourself a Christian, you’ve run off course and it’s time to step back, and reevaluate what Christ has called you to do. Fundamentally it is understanding that your sin separates you from a Holy God and because you understand that you need a savior to bridge the gap between you and him. Once that gap is bridged a process is started where you hopefully begin to grasp your own brokenness and stop concentrating on others. It is a process of change from the inside that takes a lifetime. Old habits sometimes die-hard. Sin loves to creep back in. You’ll stumble, you’ll mess up, you’ll outright fail. Which is why walking through life humbly, honestly with a spirit of love, mercy and grace is exactly where we all should be. Goodness friends…it is where I have to be because trust me I stumble and bumble through this life all. the. time.
I deeply care about Josh Duggar, his wife Anna, their kids, and their extended families. I also care deeply for all those who will be walking through the fallout of the Ashley Madison mess. As more marriages implode, and no doubt more will, let’s be really careful to not react gleefully as many are on twitter right now. Let us always remember we ALL need forgiveness. We ALL need a savior. We ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)
Instead of wasting our time looking down our noses at people, leading pious lives or even worse falling into double lives to convince people we’ve got it all figured out, lets humbly learn from this situation. Let us be quick to forgive, humble in heart, strong in determination to grow and always draw near to Jesus who saves.