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Getting Honest About Who We Are

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2021 9:00 pm

Getting Honest About Who We Are

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 29, 2021 9:00 pm

If we hide, we don't grow. Pastor Dane Ortlund asks us to get honest with God about who we really are by holding up our sins to the light.

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You know before you jump in her interview today. This is an important time for family life is we come to the end of 2021 it's time for year-end giving. I don't know if people understand for ministry like ours year-end giving sustains and enables us to build a do it. We got into them. 21 in 2022 and beyond and so line I continue to impact marriages to impact families.

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So tell me when you believe the man is really serious about truly wanting to change when he gives a bunch of money to church pastor. The last part of a man to be converted as his wallet know that that is a joke. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will think I'm Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life, family life today. I think men or women when we get real about who we are and how desperate we need Jesus. When we realize we are at loss completely in life and eternity without saving Christ. So you think that's necessary and you're looking for that. Yeah, I mean, I've met with a lot of guys who are playing games. You can just feel it when you're sitting with you and I think them not being truly honest about their sin. I'm assuming I have done it. I played games as well not put myself above anybody, but I think honesty is part of that sale would you say if we hide we don't grow, no question, and I know someone is thought a lot about this day. Norlin is with this back in the studio family life today. Dane welcome back to family life. Thanks, David and I go to talk with you.

Yeah, the reason I know you've thought about this a lot as you've written about it.

You preached about it. One of things I found very inspiring. In your bookkeeper what you are going to talk about today. Deeper is a book you've written about how does a person change spiritually real change for real sinners you write about this man I resonated with your thoughts on when a man or woman or person gets honest with themselves about who they are, they really change.

Then again, I know you know this your pastor at Naperville Presbyterian. You're a father you're an author you've got five kids.

So you're watching this in your own home but talk about that a little bit. What's this whole thing called honesty got to do a spiritual growth.

You think you, Dave will actually I would be glad to keep talking about giving money money to, but you just said is so profound and true and right in something that we are professionals at evading and escaping the health fostering discipline the painful, humiliating discipline actually feel your dying of being honest, taking the mask off and being honest with a fellow brother or sister and really talk about guys is the horizontal lysing of the gospel so the Gospels of vertical thing comes from heaven to us because of what Christ has done. Okay, that's true, and I receive it individually. What is it look like for the gospel in a church among brothers and sisters to turn on its side and become a horizontal reality.

Well, it looks like first John 17.

If we walk in the light as he is in the light.

Dave is what you're talking about walking in the light is what you mean by honesty. If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sent we are masters even as believers of self concealment and the gospel is the only resource in the world that gives us the courage and the power to speak to another brother or sister. The humiliating reality of where we are really out in our present is easy as I always struggle expires. Even 10 years ago I got over it. But what about where I'm at right now. That's where the rubber meets the road.

So that's what I want to give us some time to win this bookkeeper. So you're saying yes this important feedback do that before God.

But we need a brother or sister that were doing this with on the earth. Let me ask you, so are you saying if we don't have that with someone like we're not going to go deep and we're not going to change and grow.

Well yes and no. I mean, I wouldn't want to make this formulaic and cookie-cutter and and say that if you if you aren't doing honesty and walking in the light with another brother or sister exactly in the right way then you're stuck in hopeless know will be awful Lord is a different way of working with each one of us, but when John says in first John one. If we walk in the light of season like he doesn't say if some of us walk in the light if those of us who really happen to be wired in such a way that need to do this in order to grow, walk in the light. It's indiscriminate and universal. If we walk in the light as he is in life. We know that when we have a sin that is taking root within us and we keep it in the dark. That is where it grows strongest. That's what hell wants us to do. Keep it in the dark where it festers and multiplies, proliferates, grows, get stronger, the roots go down. But when we pull out into the light like a mushroom or something that only grows in the darkness comes out of the light it withers and dies, and we have a chance to grow. I think he said it so well to when he said the only way we can build spiritual growth is the solid ground of self despair to the degree that we minimize evil within, we lowered the ceiling on how deeply we can grow and if we view your sinfulness as a bothersome headache. More than a lethal cancer, you will see It growth, if any. I just sat there reading out like Nanette so good it's really deep to.

I don't think we ponder that often we don't do it because it would you guys agree with this. It seems to me that when I talked to a godly, very elderly.

St. walking with God for decades. They feel more sinful than they ever have before. They're not looking at this person.

I'm thinking you radiate the beauty of Christ. I want to hang out with you and get this contagion okay, but what's going on there.

It's like two lines know what is going all the ones going down sending in the one going down is growing in understanding just how sinful we are as we grow in the years go by. The other is, therefore, understanding how much we in fact need the gospel and need Christ as opposed to we become a believer and now I begin my life of growth and of sanctification, which means I need the gospel lesson less as time goes by, know we actually feel our need for even as were growing in holiness. We feel our need for the gospel. More than ever because were also growing in an awareness of our sinfulness, sci-fi the truth about Bill Bright he was, if we had anybody on a pedestal, founder of campus Crusade for Christ are true, we had Bill on a pedestal for sure.

And I remember him always getting up saying I am the chief of sinners and he's like I could fall tomorrow longer than anybody but really, Bill, turned and said no it's not him, it's me. You know who is married to me. It's like no but here's my question date. I mean in some sense we know what you're saying is true, and yet we still hide. We still keep our sins in the dark were afraid to bring them into the light. Why do we do this in the how do we get out of that that rhythm. The reason we do that is we don't really believe the gospel. Here let me were all walking through life and we are pinging back to us and assembled a sense of our worth and value and importance in who we are.

Based on what we think others think about us, so I'm I walk through life and I'm sort of amassing my sense of self based on what the feedback I'm getting, nonverbally or verbally from other people.

What am I doing in that moment that his gospel deficit what I'm doing as I'm walking out and that well should be full based on what God says of me in Christ. I shouldn't need to do that God is already said you are my adopted son and nothing is ever going to take that away from you, not even you can sing your way out of that. Okay so when we are unwilling to take a sin out of darkness into the light before brother. Why are we afraid to do that because were afraid of losing face because were afraid of being embarrassed. In other words, because we are basing part of our identity on what other people think and we all do that to do it tomorrow. So what if we actually stockpiled our hearts with the Scripture in the morning with a full sense of who we are as members of the family of God, such that actually were invincible. We can walk through life and we don't need to suck on the nicotine of human approval to get to get little drags it out. We were totally totally safe and free.

So that's one thought that comes to my brother. I remember this pastor he was in a church. Ashley getting the sermon. He said imagine that the CEO, founder of this huge multimillion dollar company has you come up and he said I want you to know you. To me are magnificent. Your great leader.

You are great mover of people you are at the most amazing person that could ever be in this job than I've ever had in his job and I want you to know this is what I believe in you and always believing you you have a spot here to see you start like this is who I am and they go downstairs a few floors and these guys are like you know what you horrible bad boss unite. I could care less what you say because the CEO think I'm amazing and I think that's why we have to keep going back to the father speaking life to us and if we don't we start listening to the people that are beside us saying like you really don't have anything or you don't have what it takes.

So the question is in you know, if I understand who God says I am but I also know the reality is I'm carrying around the sin that I'm hiding you do such a good job talk about okay, you've got to get that into the light, not just with God vertically talk about the horizontal piece. How do we do this with a brother or sister or do we do it with a couple do we do it with a whole bunch of people you know, do we stand in front of the church and do it how you know what should that look like, yeah, well, nothing cookie-cutter here.

Each of us is going to have a different context and different set of relationships and so on, guys, but here's what I would say we don't want to do it exhaustively. Let me tell you the hundred and 13 things that I battled yesterday, but redemptive flea but actually we could be very self focused and how we are bringing sin into the light in a weird way. So here's what I would suggest, what if if someone is is listening think I would like to take a step forward.

By the grace of God in this way, walking in the light. Here's what I would suggest take a week and pray, reflect journal little bit and then a week or so down the road. Jot down two or three or four possible names of a person in your church, of the same gender who you believe you can be safe with a trustworthy man or woman, will that list down to one person and then gently cautiously courageously just say hey I don't know about you but I am an actual center. Would you be comfortable if you were a safe place for me every so often to just talk very openly about what I'm struggling with, and then would you pray for me. James 516 says, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed not confess your sins to one another and give each other pep talks or fix each other that you may be healed. So when we hear someone confess us and it might seem blindingly obvious what they need to do to get fixed but we don't do that. We pray for them.

Okay, so would you simply pray for me. Could we meet once a month for six months and do this upon a time stamp on it so that if it's not going well. You have it out and then meet with that person and dare to let them know where you really are at and I would guess this is been my experience David and when you do that was someone they feel so honored by the they feel so loved by that. Actually, their own consciences pricked, they will reciprocate and before you know you have a little mutual two-way walking in the light party going on and both of you are getting traction in your Christian life DDG that your church. I know that we interviewed your dad Ray Portland and he actually does this in a men's group, where he preaches the word and he says we just break into Susan guys confess to one another is that something you've seen or experienced. I've seen that happen to my dad's church and were moving in that direction. We are first learning how to honor one another. Now the next step is going to be to learn how to walk in the light together. It's scarier. So were taking this one step at a time guy so I'm learning and I'm a toddler in this, but I do have two men in my life. One is 78. One is appear my age in his 40s, and they know what is really going on in my life and I am not interested in being a Christian without that once you taste you move from being like a 2D Christian to a 3D Christian, but that way. Like everything clicks in the color you like, oh, maybe I am a real Christian is actually it's more of an adventure is much more enjoyable way to live okay and ask you guys this question not known known ask is I mean maybe this is overgeneralizing that at least for me. It's been amazing for me to do this with women in in my world. It has seemed as if most the time it's easier for women to do, maybe not do this at least handles friendships that it give you an access to one another's lives that I've talked to so many women that will say my husband doesn't have a friend I'm his only friend, but they long for their husband to have that relationship with other men. How is winning is why do we just pray about that for our guys is that the best thing to do.

Well, that would be a great starting spot. We could do a lot worse because we want to tell them to go get a friend.

You know that it works because our wives love us and so they want to see us grow and flourish. Of course, yeah, I do think you're right that there's something in the wiring in female relationships that makes it somehow easier to go there. Perhaps I will always know is I stink at it, man, and the men I see in my world are not great at it and we do need to grow it. My wife is my best friend. But there is also the kind of conversation that I can only have with the man. Are there certain things that I couldn't speak to a brother in Christ and my wife is my deepest best friend, but he understands in a way she doesn't that's true, my wife would acknowledge that it is true for her. For me there certain things she can talk to woman about that.

I do not understand though I'm her best friend. So what if every one of us if were married. We have our spouse as our best friend, and then another person of the same gender is us who knows what really going on in our lives. I think you're really right in what you said. Yeah, I think for a lot of us men were afraid yes were afraid of being exposed to being known. I mean I can't speak for Everyman but it's like I want to be known, but if I told you what I really struggle with.

Oh my goodness I'm afraid of what you would think not just my wife but even another guidance.

I think we continue to hide with the shell so that we got really sweet struggle like your bios but pretty much I'm pretty good and apply little better and you we do that, don't we. We like to say oh yeah you struggle some things or this or that, but I like to tell you the specifics you much. My dad earlier guys my son whatever my dad say once or twice is we can either be known or impressive. We can either be known or impressive.

Someone can know me.

I think you're right Dave, we deeply desire men and women for some to know. That's why Galatians 4 says God in the gospel. We know him and we are known by him horizontally to we want to be known. But we also really want to be impressive and I can try to put up a big front and no one knows what is really going on in my life and try to impress others, but actually here's the wonder of it. When a brother comes up to me and they say here's what I'm really struggling with and their tearful about it there totally red in the face they cannot believe the master make another lives. That's when that man is most impressive to me. That's actually what is most deeply glorious. So actually being known is the way to enjoy the glory and the respect that we long for. As men hey Dan, what would you say in regards to confessing our sin to our spouse.

You talked about. You have a buddy of a brother. You also have your your best friend wife is it different is it similar. Is there a level that's different.

While I do think it is a little different. Dave and II would not want to give any married person an excuse to be dishonest with their spouse. On the one hand, on the other hand, I do think we want to come back to this idea of redemptive vulnerability versus crass vulnerability. In other words, openness and honesty that is redeeming in the way that it happens lessee got to 22-year-olds, they're getting married. They will want to be redemptive Lee honest and open with each other. Do they want to spend hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours airing all their dirty laundry. That's what we did gain okay so that might be a healthy know it wasn't where it were here to say it was we didn't know it at the time when we say the same thing you're just about to say is, that's not redemptive. Keep going with that. Yeah, just to be wise it's a matter of wisdom not like I'm just gonna air everything before you. That can actually be quite hurtful. Maybe it scratches an inch in me as the one confessing it because I feel like I'm being so open and honest in something, but that's all you're asking your spouse or your fiancÚ to bear an enormous weight.

So what is loving is is a what if I'm in their shoes. What do I want to know and that's what we wanted. Yeah, yeah, I think you know is you go back to James 516 talk about. Confess your sins to one another and somesuch like my way are we supposed confess our sins to God, yes.

But he also says one another and again assessed in front of 100 people in, but it is brother, sister and your spouse and pray for one another, that you may be healed.

I think often we think healing is physical and I think there's obviously that sense there but it's a deeper isn't it. It's like while he's talking about now you want to grow in Christ. That's going to propel you toward that kind of healing where your soul is set free so that now you're not in the dark and not hiding you not put on a mask, you are literally being known by Christ and by a brother or sister.

And now you're on a path to a true healing of your soul that leads to real growth in Christ right. I love the way you just put that Dave healing is wholeness.

Your integrated integrity.

You're one of the words when you're hiding and got things in the dark where their festering there's two of you at that point.

There's two Danes, there is the real Dane that I am behind the mask and then there's the day and that I'm preening and parading around the world with. But when I confess my sins want to someone else, then the two become one. It's much simpler and less exhausting as a way to live in your hole and I agree with you brother. The healing there is not so much physical healing it internally. You are becoming whole. Shalom is washing over you as a human being. Yeah, I tell you what you are listening right now you're thinking that I stumbled upon this, or maybe your intentional today to listen to family life today and here you are is the end of 2021 2022 is right around the corner. You want a first step to a new life that I know there's a brother or sister going. Don't say you don't say you need to find a brother or sister that you can be real with take off the mask bring us in the dark. Now into the light with God, with a brother sister, possibly a little bit with your spouse and that'll be the best first step to real change in 2022. Start today. Right now about a conversation I had last night with a married couple who are in distress.

There a lot of issues in their marriage in their lives. Just a lot that they're trying to process and I remember looking up the wife and just saying. Who do you have that you can go to and be real with and process things with. Who are you leaning on who's supporting you in this.

She looked back at me and said there's nobody my sub will we've got ask God to provide those people for you because the burden is too heavy to bear on our own. That's why the Bible tells us in Galatians 6 that were to bear one another's burdens, and so if you find yourself feeling like the load is too heavy like change is too hard. You need help. That's what Dana Portland has been talking with Dave and Ann Wilson about today.

It's at the heart of his book, deeper real change for real sinners a book we've gotten our family like today resource Center you can request your copy of Dane's book when you go to our website. Family life or you can call to order number is one 800 FL today. Again, the title of the book is deeper by Dana Portland. You can order it from us or you can call to order at 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today, we have been so encouraged this week to have heard from many of you were family life to a listers who ever heard us talking about the matching gift opportunity that's available to us.

During the month of December were trying to take advantage of a $2.3 million matching gift and we've heard from any of you who have said, we want to help with that.

You have called or gone online and made generous donations. Your donations have been matched dollar for dollar, and that's been very exciting for us. There are still funds available in the matching gift fund and so here today and tomorrow. We want to do everything we can to challenge you to encourage you to get in touch with us and to be as generous as you can be.

If you look at the ministry of family life to the new say this is something that I believe and I think it's important God used it in my own life my own heart. I want to see it continue and thrive in 2022.

The need for marriages and families to be centered and anchored in God's word has never been greater. That's why our need for your generosity has never been greater. You can make your donation today or you can call to donate at one 800 FL today when you do that donation is gonna be matched dollar for dollar until we've exhausted the money that's in that $2.3 million matching gift fund were also to send you a copy of Dana Portland's devotional book from the book of Psalms.

It's called in the Lord. I take refuge, so you can have Danes wisdom and counsel guiding you for the next hundred and 50 days once you get a copy of Dane's book again. Give your gift or call us at one 800 FL today I'm pleased to pray for us that were able to take full advantage of this matching gift opportunity and we hope you can join us back tomorrow when were to talk about one of the most significant ways God brings about change in our lives.

It's very effective and nobody wants him to use it.

It's the tool of pain or adversity and will talk about why it's so significant and why it's something we need to embrace Dane or Clint joins us again tomorrow. I hope you can as well on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson.

I'm Bob Lapine. See you back next time for another addition of family like today, family life to the production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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