Because one of my core values is life-long learning, I am always reading and scouting out new resources. As a writer, I yearn to pen unique words or phrases that leave my readers with their own a-ha moments, something to think about all day, some treasure that leaves a taste of hope in their lives.
Recently, I added three new treasures to my learning bank, so I wanted to share them with you.
Treasure 1: In her new book, “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace” Anne Lamott writes, “They say we are punished not for the sin but by the sin.”
Even when we know we are forgiven, natural consequences still attach like magnets to iron.
If you hammer a nail into wood and then take the nail out, a hole marks the spot where the nail was hammered. It doesn’t matter how many times you are forgiven for hammering that nail, it will still leave a mark.
I think we need to worry less about how God will punish us and more about how we can cause our own defeat by the wrong choices we make.
Treasure 2: Gerald May wrote, “Grace threatens all our normalities.”
Now isn’t that the grandest truth?
Just when we feel the most soul-grunge because we’ve committed one of the seven deadly sins and actually enjoyed it, God comes along and says, “Oh by the way, you’re forgiven.”
When we sin again because we’re stupid and can’t seem to learn from our mistakes, we go to God in penitence and cry, “I did it again. I’m so sorry.”
And God says, “You did what again?”
His grace breaks down all the normal ways we deal with repentance and retribution. Grace transcends omniscience, so God chooses to forget and says, “It’s okay, kiddo. I love you. My Son already took care of this.”
I don’t think I’ll truly understand grace until I graduate to heaven.
Treasure 3: Recently, the Samaritan Woman taught me an important truth. Even though I’ve read her story hundreds of times in John chapter four and loved how Jesus went out of his way to dialog with her, something really struck me this time.
Jesus treated her with respect in spite of the fact that she lived a rather nontraditional life. Her past included a handful of men that she married or lived with, probably because she had to survive.
But Jesus did not judge her. He appreciated her authenticity and answered her challenging questions. He revealed his true mission as the Messiah to this woman who wasn’t even allowed to draw water with the other “good” people in town.
Then what did she do? She ran back into the village and evangelized the same people who had rejected her. She brought them to the source of grace and showed everyone that she had more character than those who followed the laws of culture and religion.
Through her courageous behavior, the Samaritan Woman showed transparent forgiveness.
You see, when we meet Jesus and talk face to face with the man who saves us from our grungey selves, it doesn’t really matter how others treat us.
We just want them to meet him, too.
©2015 RJ Thesman – author of the Reverend G books – http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh