Wait...you go to church?
It's a question that's asked far too commonly in our society, as we've been continually convinced that we ought to push our faith to the side and make it a private endeavor, that we aren't supposed to talk about it in public. That it's no longer "polite" conversation to talk about God. As a result, there are sometimes persons with whom we have continual interaction without ever knowing that they are a Christian. And...there are persons who have the same with us.
This was part of the problem that David was facing in Psalm 41. He had repented. He had thrown himself on God's mercy and brought his heart and laid it bare before God, but...the friends who had become foes didn't seem to know it. They didn't know David's heart before God. That's why they were still judging him so harshly.
That's why he was still so convinced that his supposed-to-be-friends were his greatest foes.
We asked yesterday if it would have changed their opinion if they knew what his heart toward God was like. We asked if it might change our opinion of those around us.
Without faith in the public square the way that it used to be, it's hard. It's easy for us to sit around and think that everyone is just loving their sin. That they don't even care. That they probably aren't even thinking about it or about the way that it affects others. It's easy for us to sit here and judge everyone else for not caring enough, for not repenting. But...what if they have?
What if David's foes in verse 5 knew what David was like in verse 4?
This is the challenge for all of us who would live as Christians in this world, particularly in the context of fellowship with those around us. We have to live in such a way that our verse 4 is assumed of us and not a surprise. We have to live so that those who are closest to us know that our confession and repentance is a given, that it's already happening. That we are serious about bringing our hearts before God and throwing ourselves on mercy.
We should not be living in such a way that we hear the first question of today's post frequently, if ever at all. Wait...you go to church? Wait...you love God? Wait...you care about your sin and the way it affects others?
These things should not even be questions about us. Not from our foes and especially not from our friends.
Now, there is, of course, a fine line here that we must be careful of. And if you've read some of the harsh criticism that Jesus had for the Pharisees, then you likely know already what we're getting at. How do we live making our verse 4 known without living a faith that's simply meant to be seen?
We'll talk about some of that tomorrow.