The other voices in Kinnear's rant

If you don't know anything about Newcastle United, all you need to know is that it's a madhouse. It's a football club in chaos and their recently-appointed interim manager Joe Kinnear has just written the latest chapter in an increasingly bizarre season with a "foul-mouthed rant" (copyright all newspapers). Apparently he manages to swear 52 times in five minutes, an achievement which would put some rappers to shame. The transcript is available here full of asterisks, and the audio is available elsewhere if you have a mind to search for it.

Reading through it I found myself noticing something other than all the swears. It was the other voices. I am in no way absolving Kinnear of blame but there was something so insidious in the way the journalists kept gently goading him: they were in on a great story and they knew it.

I couldn't help but be reminded of the voices that can fill my head when I've made mistakes: sinning by what I've done or what I haven't done. They accuse and goad me, so I really ought to know where they come from. They're awfully similar to the voices which just moments before been whispering to my conscience how good it would be for me to make the wrong choice. Now that I've agreed with them, they turn on me and hurl down accusations and try to make me doubt God's steadfast love for me and the assurance of my salvation. This is the enemy's classic one-two punch: deception followed by condemnation. Lies all the way.

Jesus said, "My sheep know My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). When we've sinned, Jesus speaks to us with us much love and urgency as He does when we've made the right choice. He calls us to confess our sins and then He assures us that He has paid the price for our sin (1 John 1:9). He reminds us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Him (Romans 8:1), and He calls us, by His grace, to sin no more (John 8:11).

It can be a real challenge to hear His voice in the maelstrom of remorse with a choir of condemnation accompanying but it's there because He is faithful even when we are faithless (2 Timothy 2:13). What amazing grace is ours in Christ Jesus!