Fresh Hope – 11th October 2016

There is something very satisfying within our human nature when we uncover other people faults.

We all have an tendency to get a kick out of it when we hear of someone that’s just messed up.

It certainly sells newspapers and definitely grabs people’s attention, not to mention it becoming hot gossip in any office, and an instant hit on social media.

Good news travels fast, but bad news travels even faster.

Part and parcel of this fascination with the sordid details of other people’s lives is inbred within us, knowing that if we can make others look bad, we can make ourselves look better.

Here’s the question: are you an exposer or a coverer?

Are you one of the first people to dish the dirt, or are you the one that covers a person’s shame with your love for them?

We are not talking about sweeping stuff under the carpet here, but we are talking about our motive for wanting to expose other people’s downfalls.

When Noah was asked by God to build the ark in the midst of a God forsaken world, he was chosen as a righteous man of faith.

Yet, not so long after the flood, we find him naked and drunk in his tent.

One of his sons walked in on him and decided to expose his shame, whilst the other two sons decided to cover his shame; they walked into the tent backwards and lowered a blanket over their father’s nakedness in order to cover him rather than expose him, not even daring to look.

Each of us today, carries with us the ability to expose or cover someone else’s shame.

The question is: why would you want to make a person feel worse than they already do? Would it not be better to take the higher road and cover them with your love? Here’s the crunch question…what would you want someone to do for you, if you messed up big time?

Jesus modelled something so powerful for us when an adulterous woman was thrown at his feet. Crowds gathered to see her get her just penalty, which was by law, death by stoning.

Fully expecting Jesus to pronounce that very harsh judgment on her, he simply asked those that were without sin to cast the first stone; no one dared move.

Jesus then made a remarkable statement in order to set her free…John 8:11 ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’

God’s grace is so powerful that even when we may mess up, he covers us, and never exposes us.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Proverbs 17:9 Whoever would foster love covers over an offence, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Pastor Mark

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