I was reading a sermon today and caught this:
"The place was England, during the years of the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell. The Protector himself addressed the famous French painter, Mr. Peter Lely, saying: "I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts and all; otherwise I never will pay a farthing for it."
Cromwell's blunt words have since served as a forceful way to express a desire for honest description. "Warts and all---that's the way I want it!""
I remember warts.
During the most geeky period of my life, between the third grade and senior high, I was plagued with having a couple of warts appear. One was on my left thumb. I tried several of the over the counter remedies, a couple of stupid ideas, but was still left with warts. So my ultimate solution? Hide them.
Funny this should come up today. A big "wart" appeared while talking with our administrator.
For all the success we have had at New Hope in the last year, for all the people we've seen come to know Christ, all those we've added to the kingdom and to our family, all the growth we've seen in our outreach, our fellowship - in almost every area...
We have a wart. Our finances are ugly. They don't reflect a people who trust God and are in love with Him. Even after 40 Days to Financial Freedom came and went, our practices haven't changed. How do we change it?
I'm starting with me. I've got a few days until Sunday, and I'm going to be looking at what I'm doing and the spirit in which I'm doing it. I have it on good authority (my wife) that not practicing what I preach is a wart everyone that matters can easily see. How many times have I bought something just because I wanted it? How much more could I, should I be giving with a joyful heart, not with a wonder if we'll make it to payday? Or if payday will come?
So God, remove the wart. Change my heart. You are my rock, my tower, my fortress. To You I run for what I need to become the man you see when you look at me.
I know you love me, warts and all, but help me lead from example to precept into trust, and bring all of New Hope with me.