I'm not quite sure how to post a quote from Twitter - but here's my best shot. Pete Day told me about this excellent quote when we chatted on the phone today. It's my conviction that Christians like talking about sin. In a way I think it alleviates guilt. "A problem shared is a problem halved". One of Satan's tools (and only one) is to persuade you that your sin is unique and you are the worst sinner that you know. But once you get into Christian circles where there is a degree of "honesty" and "accountability" it does become quite deliriously freeing to "share sins".
I found this particularly apt when I sought help for a time from True Freedom Trust - a Christian group believing that celibacy is the only way for those dealing with homosexual orientations. Groups would meet around the country and would essentially talk about what kind of a week they had. Whether it be "good" (not having fallen morally in some way) or "bad" (having fallen morally in some way). It was initially exhilarating to find I wasn't alone - but then extremely depressing. Most weeks just seem to be depressed men and women talking about a life of celibacy with no hope of victory, breakthrough or end. Honest yes - hopeful no.
Then of course there was Sovereign Grace Ministries accountability groups. I've said before that having only just joined the church - I had absolutely no intention of sharing the skeletons in my closet. Those familiar with my story will know that my fears were justified. So most of the weekly discussions in the accountability group revolved around quite "acceptable" sins (as defined by Jerry Bridges) such as impatience with children, spouse, parents, church pastor (me) or other. Honest - not so. Emphasis on the Cross and Christ's imputed righteousness? Lacking.
So here's the quote from "First Importance";
"Don't mistake accountability for fellowship. Satan doesn't mind you talking about sin if you forget about Jesus".
I once heard someone say that we should take 10 looks at Jesus Christ for every 1 look at self. I wonder if we really started doing that whether we would actually start seeing victory over areas of life. REALLY started looking at Jesus. And what He did triumphing over principalities and powers by disarming them by removing the written code - the law.
Ryan Rufus writes in his latest book;
"Sanctification is where your earthly current condition starts to become more and more like your eternal heavenly position. The means by which this happens is not by will power, self-effort or law but through regular encounters with the God of glory and being established in His word of grace".