What have I done? What love, what mercy, what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the Holy Ghost for his grace? Do I thus requite the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the blessed Spirit hath chosen to dwell in? And can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before him? Do I account communion with him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake I have scarce left him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great salvation? In the meantime, what shall I say to the Lord? Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation, — I have despised them all, and esteemed them as a thing of nought, that I might harbor a lust in my heart. Have I obtained a view of God’s fatherly countenance, that I might behold his face and provoke him to his face? Was my soul washed, that room might be made for new defilements? Shall I endeavor to disappoint the end of the death of Christ? Shall I daily grieve that Spirit whereby I am sealed to the day of redemption?
Entertain thy conscience daily with this treatyJohn Owen Of the Mortification of Sin in BelieversChapter XI (2.)
Christian – can you read these words and not make them your own? Is this not your own account? I dare say there is not a one who can boldly state, “This is not I!”
What then are we to do when confronted with thoughts of this magnitude? Many would attempt to block out such words, put them in a deep well and bury them over with the trivial things of this world. Some simply believe that they are too unjust to contemplate. They throw up their hands in despair and for wont of any desire to take action they instead try to kill them off and fill their minds with what they perceive to be more pleasant thoughts.
The truth can only be pushed aside for so long before the debt of the lie must be paid. So do we push it aside or do we take hold of it? And if we boldly grab onto the estate of our depravity what then? In the light of truth are we to wallow in our own vile excrement or flagellate ourselves for our sin? Is this all that we’re left with?
No. But I do believe there are those that would end it here and in some twisted way find righteousness in their own self loathing. What perverted beasts we can become.
What we are to do is realize how truly wretched we are without the gift of saving grace that Jesus the Christ purchased for our sake on Calvary. We need to remember that in our stead he took the nails that were meant for us. And in that humbled frame we will find our joy in the realization of the incomparable love God has for us.