04 December 2010

That's really ugly.


My recent childcare escapades, mostly involving babies who love vacuum cleaners and try to eat doorknobs, have been highly entertaining. They've also been highly enlightening. But not necessarily about Babies and How They Work . . . more about Sin and How Nasty It Is.


When a baby has everything he wants, he's Mr. Happypants. The world is beautiful and everyone is his friend. Yet his contentment combusts as soon as the dreaded "NO" appears: as soon as Mom has to set him down in order to answer the phone, or that fascinating butcher knife is pushed away from the edge of the counter, or Big Sister decides that she'd like to play with the plastic dinosaurs too. Suddenly that baby has lost his position as King of the Universe, and ooh, he hates it.

That's when the tantrums appear. That's when the hitting and wailing start. That's when things get ugly.

But you know what dawned on me as this week's seventeenth Angry Screaming Baby episode unfolded before my eyes?

I'm exactly like that. I just cover it up!

When you watch a sunny-faced baby contort his face with rage and start smacking whoever comes near him, you realize how ugly sin is. That child may be cuter than a Baby Gap ad, but ain't nothin' cute about sin. In the same way, I may play innocent, but I have an awful lot of sin in my heart. And the discontentment, the greed, the pride seething below the surface is hideous.

I usually don't view my sin that way. I think it's time I did.


I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

-Psalm 32


N.B. I'm not talking about tiny infants, who really have no other way of communicating besides crying. I'm talking about one-year-olds who know very well what "no" means, and who are alarmingly capable of looking you in the eye with an "oh yeah? make me" expression. (It's scary how soon that starts. Hello, sin nature.) By that point, you can tell the difference between a sweet I-am-sad cry and a nasty I-hate-everything cry . . .

Gosh. It's really humbling to realize that apart from Christ, I would be throwing tantrums just as violent as any one-year-old's.

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