Lord's Day Liturgy

Mad Awesome

The men at our church have been reading The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson, and a week ago we talked about how a godly man is a patient man. Under that heading Watson warned against: “Discontent; which is a sullen dogged humour: when a man is not angry at his sins, but at his condition.”

You can be angry with what’s happening or you can be angry with your sinful response to what’s happening. It’s not two separate things, the situation over here and your sins somewhere else, but its the angle on the same event. When something doesn’t go how you hoped it would, when someone else gets something you thought you should, are you ruthless with any sin coming up in your heart?

Paul told the Colossians that they must “put off” or put away anger, wrath, malice, and slander (Colossians 3:8). Likewise, when discontented impatience comes at you, put it off. Either lay aside your anger and impatience or you will, by default, be laying aside additional opportunities. Put on instead, as God’s chosen ones, humility and meekness and patience (Colossians 3:12).

How can you grow in favor with God and men when you are angry with God and bitter against men? You want a reputation for being awesome, but get mad if your awesomeness isn’t recognized? That mad is not awesome.

How much our complaints reveal about us. How much God’s Word points instead to our confession. Let your confession reveal your humility, your faith, your submission, your glory.

Lord's Day Liturgy

Against a Painted Happiness

We’ve chosen the next book for our Men to Men meetings, The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson. Watson was a Puritan, and a non-conformist, meaning that he refused to “conform” to the Church of England’s requirements. When the Act of Uniformity passed in 1662, Watson was take off the list of “approved” pastors. He continued to preach anyway—in homes, barns, and backwoods. As a group of men we’ve not read one of these Puritan paperbacks before, and our first discussion will be at the October meeting.

Not far into his subject, Watson points out the problems with “painted on” godliness. Though the title of his work is about a “picture,” the descriptions he gives are three-dimensional, of spiritual substance, not surface.

Watson laments beauty that is only paint-deep. “Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted wine refresh him who is thirsty?” (17).

He who has only a painted holiness shall have a painted happiness. (17)

This is what we cannot be, as men, as Christians. If we are to be those who rejoice in their trials (James 1:2), if we are to be those who rejoice in their toil (Ecclesiastes 3:22; 5:19), then we must be those whose rejoicing wells from the heart-deeps. This also means that our confession of sin must do more than scratch and scrub at the surface. Strip off the layers and let godliness be like stain in the grain, not a veneer, a coat of gloss.

If we are to be godly, and have a godly gladness about us, then we must get all the way down to it, even from our knees.