I’m pretty much about done with this whole blog experiment. I never get to be the hero I always used to always see myself as in bible stories. I tend to be the bad guy every time. The worst part is that I tend to do it under the misconception that I’m doing the good guy part.
“Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (ESV)
The Lord has brought a little (minimize it for comfort) character flaw up to me here lately that I thought I would share. I externalize standards and internalize grace. That is to say looking out my eyes on the world I see all the standards of the law and right living. The things that one would expect out of “good Christian folks.”
Looking in my eyes and onto my heart I see all the grace. I have a thousand faults; be they actions, words, or thoughts that are wicked. I immediately search for that tender merciful grace that the Lord offers lowly sinners like me.
I seem to get grace right where it matters least. The Lord said that the world would know us by our love for one another. I find most often that I have more grace for the stranger on the street than someone in my own church family or family of origin. This is because of an expectation. We all profess the Lord, so then the expectation is that the behavior of those following the Lord will follow. I get all high hopes that showing someone their behavior isn’t really matching the expectation is going to se the lightbulb off in their head. “Thank you so much brother for showing me the error of my ways, mighty fine of the Almighty using you like that, appreciate ya.”
The reality is usually much more along the lines of awkward glances, tension in the air, and a dwindling away of relationships. I’m glad the Lord has brought this to my attention, but also ashamed I’ve let myself fall prey to such text-book tricks of the enemy. Take a good intention and use it to harm and destroy. I hope anyone I’ve ever made a little less than comfortable about their walk with the Lord can pass the grace sauce my way.
I think ultimately the more we seek to impact others in their relationship with God the less we will. The more we seek God in our own relationship; the more we will impact others in theirs.
Who has a blanket and can I sit by your fire?
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