Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Just WHO do you think you are!?!?!?!?!"

"Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"
"No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more.""  ~John 8.10-11

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." ~John 3.17

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." ~Romans 8.1

Here's an embarrassing tid-bit for your reading pleasure:

 I lost my car-keys the other day and frantically began looking all over the house, in the vehicles, blaming everyone else in the home for moving them, uttering a few choice phrases (better left to the imagination) to find that they were - wait for it - in my left hand!  How embarrassing and humiliating to say the least.  Of course I'm sure that's never happened to anyone else - so it must be a gift ;^)

Looking back on that ordeal prompted me to consider something I've been dealing with and praying about over the last few months: God's forgiveness and tenderness.  It is something spoken of all the time in church and reads all throughout scripture, but most of the time we fail to "see" it.

It seems growing up as a Pastor's son placed my actions, good or bad under the scrutiny of  many well-meaning folks who should have been looking the other way (or so I thought). Watching them - watching me bred the instinct to do the same thing to others who perhaps did not reach my "standards".  

It's amazing though that the biggest target of my watchful, ever judging eye was of all people, me.

Yep, the very standards I had set up for others to follow and expectations they were required to live up to were out of reach for the very one I knew everything about!  No hiding from one's-self, you know! Every failure added to shame and self-loathing, keeping me from being able to achieve intimacy with God and the nurturing growth that comes from interacting on an "open-book" basis with Him.  I mean if "I" can't accept that I mess up, how could He ever accept it?  

The amazing fact is that just the opposite is true.

  God is our "Daddy" (For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" ~Rom 8.15) and loves us unconditionally.  Yes, He is Holy, Just and Righteous, but He is the perfect one, not us.  How freeing to know that his grace does not stop where our failures begin, but rather that is where it truly does it's work in us, through us and by Him.  Knowing and believing this one thing can free us to be open with him and live in forgiveness and closeness with our Father who has the best in store for us in every aspect and facet of our lives and personalities.  To try to hide sin from God is essentially saying we don't believe He is Who He says He is. 

I need to accept and believe God will complete the work He started in me.  After all it's His work, not mine and because of that it will be successful and complete and perfect in every way despite my lack of perfection.

Time to "know" God's grace.