dis·gust·ing

d363436609b7068ac4ce9dea044244d9-330x324x1Disgusting.   That word was shared recently to describe the feelings someone had toward another individual. I’ve thought about it all week and finally I looked up the word and it’s definitions.  Here you go: “arousing revulsion or strong indignation. revolting, repulsive, sickening, nauseating, foul, nasty, abhorrent, loathsome, appalling, scandalous, monstrous, vile, detestable, hateful, contemptible, despicable, deplorable . . . ”

Over the last two years I have laid myself in spirit almost daily at the foot of the cross. I have no other place of refuge. Even the church, in some ways and in some places, is not a safe welcoming place or a place of healing.

It makes me think of the hatred Jews had toward Samaritans in the New Testament. The Jewish religious establishment had endorsed this hatred based on racial division and even religious interpretation. The Samaritans disgusted them as did sinners in general.

And then Jesus came. . .

To the woman at the well, married and divorced five times and living with yet another man,  Jesus said, “I have to go through Samaria.” He took the road avoided by Jews so they didn’t have to come in contact with Samaritans. He chose her. He chose to love her. He was not disgusted. He was not filled with hate. He offered her “living water” and turned around and used her to bring all her friends to hear Him over the course of the next three days.

Jesus is always about the fallen. He is always more concerned with the lost sheep than He is the 99 safe in the barn. He came to seek and save those that are lost.

He was never disgusted with anyone unless it was the lukewarm church folks described in Revelation 3 that made Him want to vomit or the smug religious folks He dealt with during His ministry years. I believe He referred to them as snakes. Funny that Jesus never expressed disgust toward the fallen, failed, flawed and broken.

In fact, quoting from the book of Isaiah, Jesus read from the scroll in Luke 4 where the prophet Isaiah was describing the ministry of the Messiah.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19 NKJV 

Shortly after proclaiming this mission, the church of the day was there to criticize Him.

And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:30-31 NKJV

Repentance and spiritual healing are deeply personal actions that takes place between God and us.

On my knees, in my car, in my bead, taking a walk, even while eating over the last couple of years I have repented over and over and I have experienced the grace of God. This grace so misunderstood by the self-righteous.  So denied by the spiritually arrogant but so well-known by the broken and bruised.

I am not disgusting to God and neither are you. In fact, He is filled with compassion for us and extends grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. You won’t always get it from others and in some cases individuals “benefit” if they can retain control and don’t accept your apology or even allow you to express it. Isaiah saw this loving Savior seven hundred years or so before He came to this earth and proclaimed these words:

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53: 4-6

He was wounded for me.

He was bruised for me.

He suffered that I might have peace . . . and that peace comes from Him and Him alone.

By His stripes I am healed.   Well . . . trying hard to be.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “dis·gust·ing

  1. You know Wes… I read these comments and understand your position in a very unique way. However, you seem duplicitous . On one side you hold the evangelical-Holiness ideology to an acceptance of belief. . On the other hand… you find great (and much deserved judgement) of the same ideology. The evangelical Holiness ideology will never approve, accept or cooperate with any approach that does not agree with their position. It is a position of judgement and derision. An your” failure” will never be accepted them…

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    • On the contrary I have many friends from the Wesleyan background that have been kind and gracious. I don’t see it as a theological issue from my experience. It’s a maturity issue and an understanding of who Christ is. That’s a hard thing to know for all of us. I would never have known Him like I do now if I hadn’t walked this road. Hard road but thankful for the lessons.

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