Pondering grace again and wondering how we, the body of Christ, can show love and grace when imperfect people make mistakes. I can’t have justice without mercy. When I say “you,” I mean the collective “us.” My heart was grieved this morning reading some of the comments about a pastor resigning from his church. These were my first thoughts mixed with tears.
Do you remember how God responded to you when you were not at your best? Did He constantly remind you of your laundry list of wrong? Did He berate you for not having your mess together? Did He judge you over and over and over again for your offense? Did He make sure you felt so small there was no way you’d ever run to Him again? Did He stop pursuing you? Did He ever once say, kid I can’t love you because you’ve made some stupid mistakes I just can’t get past? Did He ever make you feel there was no hope for you?
No! Lay down your judgment. Stop trying to be the righteous judge as though you get the final say so in the redemption in another person’s life. Remember where you came from? Remember how imperfect and screwed up you were? Remember how you needed and wanted just one person to show you kindness, to tell you that you could begin again? Remember how you were desperate for grace even though you knew you’d made a horrible mess of things?
But God!!!! I remember what it was like for me. I want grace. I want to give grace. I’ll trust God to make the rest right and to lead me through it. What I don’t need is another religious soul tell me I have to do things God never said I needed to do just to be made right again with Him. What I don’t need is a new definition of what it means to be forgiven and restored. Jesus gave me that when He sacrificed his life. I don’t need that legalism to circumvent the hope that remains. I need grace!
It came through Christ. Arms spread wide. One side pierced. Blood, so much blood, spilling down, down, down. This is love that came for you. It came for me. This is hope. Jesus made restoration between us and God possible. There’s nothing I can do to make Him love me less. Nothing. The blood covers my sin and inability. The blood cleanses and forgives me. The blood makes me well and provides shalom. The blood leads me to a life of always reconciliation.
Before you start throwing rocks at pastors, civic leaders, clergy, laypeople, or any other soul struggling, think about how God saved you, redeemed you, restored you, and didn’t give you what you deserve. Church let’s stop this madness of judging and wanting people to be crucified.
Let’s stop this selfish finger pointing and agreement that people should get the worst of what they deserve. I’m not saying don’t speak up for injustice. I’m not saying don’t speak truth. I’m not saying don’t seek justice. And I’m not saying your feelings don’t matter.
I am saying let us be like Christ for real in all our dealings with imperfect people. We’re all imperfect. I could use a little more grace myself. I am saying I want godly conviction not His condemnation. I want mercy. I want justice tempered with mercy.
For the one who struggles, God loves you so much. There is grace, love, and hope enough. May we not grieve the heart of God and the work of restoration He is doing on the earth. Let’s not get in His way and mess it up. God, for Your Name’s sake, have mercy on us. Lead us in Your Light.
You can read the rest of my 31 Days series here. Thanks for reading friends! Now go live in the truth from the Truth.