NIV + The Message + Blue Letter

Propaganda’s a lanky rapper with long dreads. When I saw him, he was doing spoken word poetry. In his first piece he said, “I know sarcasm is the only time people tell the truth.” That level of depth won me as a lifelong fan.

For the longest time, I claimed to be fluent in sarcasm. In case you missed it, which is easy when it’s written, my claim was part mockery. Some people aren’t fluent. They miss the point all together. Jason, that’s Propoganda’s birth name, took on fluency in sarcasm with a new level of truth.

It’s important to be fluent in sarcasm. Likewise, in today’s reading, it’s essential to grasps rhetorical questions. That’s what verse 9

Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;

    I am clean and without sin”?

is. Some say this verse is pointing to Jesus. Bumper stickers say, “Jesus is the answer” after all; but, that misses the point entirely.

If Sam or Tyler were the answer, the next step is striving — I’ve got to do better. In this context, even Jesus being the answer has the same effect. Even worse that’s striving, this conjures up shame.

You aren’t unique. When we realize the answer is no one, and that was the point of the question all along, we are called into freedom. We don’t need to strive for perfection, and embrace shame. This is exactly what John is talking about when he writes

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Confession is simply owning where we are. It’s not about shame or sorrow but reality.

Only when we look down and own where we are is there any hope of moving forward. Sometimes its a rhetorical device; but for me sarcasm was a defense mechanism. I’d use it to avoid tough conversation. Since no one has a pure heart (and in Jesus we are all clean) I don’t stress about it all that much. Instead when I’m being sarcastic I

Look Down Is there a truth I’m avoiding?

Look Back ️️️Is there a reason I’m doing this?

Look Out⏩ What’s my end goal?

Look Up What are more fruitful options?

Look Out⏩ Which option am I going to try first?

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Every so often (usually 10-14 days) I ⏪Look Back and when I do, I share it. If you want to know what I saw, sign up for my email (the first one goes out the Friday after Easter).

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