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Loving the Unlovable
by Gary Sims
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Pete: “So how are things, Tim? I haven’t seen you around much lately.”

Tim: “Hi, Pete. I guess “things” are okay. I don’t know. I just don’t feel right. You know what I mean? Sometimes it just seems that everything I do is wrong.”

Pete: “I think I understand. There are times for me when even the easiest of tasks seem to be a struggle.”

Tim: “Struggle? I’m not sure that’s what I’m talking about. I mean, yes, things are difficult…challenging. It is a struggle; I guess… a struggle to do what is right – to do what God would want me to do.”

Pete: “Yea, God can lead us into some challenging areas of ministry.”

Tim: “No, its not ministry I’m talking about. It is simply living life as He would want. It seems that I can’t help it. I just always find myself doing the wrong things.”

Pete: “Wrong things?”

Tim: “You won’t tell anyone will you? This is not something I’m very proud of.”

Pete: “Certainly not. This conversation is strictly between the three of us…you, me, and God.”

Tim: “Okay. Well, you know that new show club on 4th Street? T&Bs?”

Pete: “No, I’m not familiar with it.”

Tim: “Well, it’s a new “gentleman’s club.” I drive by it every night on the way home from work and I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I am obsessed with it. Half the time I drive past and then do a u-turn. The rest of time, I either drive right to it without so much as a hint of guilt feelings or wish I had stopped and think about it the rest of the night at home.”

Pete: “What’s Shirley say about your new fascination?”

Tim: “I wouldn’t call it new. It has been one of my “struggles,” as you would say, most of my life. She is very aware of my weakness and it is ruining our marriage.”

Pete: “I can see how it might.”

Tim: “The worse thing is I know I shouldn’t go there. I know that Christ wants me to live a better life. I just can’t help myself. I am damaged goods. I am worthless. I even considered killing myself a couple of weeks ago when Shirley and I fought about it. I stormed out of the house and drove right to the place. I didn’t get home until four in the morning. I drove around the city for three hours trying to figure it out. I know if I would have had a gun I wouldn’t be here today talking to you. I am simply bogged down with feelings of guilt. I’m at the end of my rope.”

Pete: “Tim, one thing you have to get out of your head is this feeling of worthlessness. No matter what you do, God loves you. In fact He created you just as you are. As David would say, “You are wonderfully and fearfully made.”

Tim: “Well, I can understand the fearfully part. I just don’t know. I want to do the right things but I can’t control my feelings and then I just get out there, far from God.”

Pete: “That isn’t quite right either, Tim. You are never far from God. He is leaning in, paying close attention, and helping you.”

Tim: “Helping? How? I know in church we talk about the Holy Spirit guiding us in our lives but how can you tell when you hear the Holy Spirit? I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.”

Pete: “He is helping you right now. Don’t you think He brought us both together just now so we could have this conversation? Don’t you know that He loves you?”

Tim: “I’m sure He loves me when I do the right things but when I decide to head off to T&Bs I doubt if He loves me very much then.”

Pete: “You understand the idea of Grace, right?”

Tim: “Yeah, sort of. It’s that God loved the world thing.”

Pete: “Let’s put this way…God loved Tim so much that He forgave Him for all time.”

Tim: “What did I do to earn that?”

Pete: “Nothing – and that is Grace. There is nothing you can do to earn it. Your actions and deeds will not win His favor. He doesn’t love you anymore if you do good or any less if you stray.”

Tim: “So I can go to T&Bs, be unfaithful to my wife, drink until the sun rises, and God still loves me?”

Pete: “Yes, He does. Now I am not saying He doesn’t grieve for you. He desperately wants to bring you into a better, more holy life, but He has not given up on you. He is trying to reach you to show you a better way to live, a way where T&Bs is no longer a problem.”

Tim: “Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? I can’t seem to do that.”

Pete: “Let me help. There are some things in all of our lives that we have no control over and we can’t fix them by ourselves. We need help. We need Christ. Let me be Christ to you.”

Tim: “Christ? You can be Christ? You can do healings and miracles?”

Pete: “You never know. I do know that Jesus said: “I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things…” Let me be Christ for you. Let me help you through this struggle.”

Tim: “Okay. I’m willing to try. What should we do?”

Pete: “Why don’t we go to that service at the church they have on Fridays together…what do they call it? Celebrate Recovery? Maybe that will be a good place to start.”

Tim: “It might work; at least I won’t be at T&Bs. Are you sure you want to do this for me? You must have a better way to spend your Fridays.”

Pete: “Tim, I have nothing better to do then to try and help a beloved creation of God. He loves you, has forgiven you, and has amazing things in store for you. It would be an honor and a privilege to experience some of God’s glory with you.”

Tim: “Okay, then. Friday night. See you then. And Pete…?”

Pete: “Yes?”

Tim: “Thank you.”

Pete: “No. Thank God.”

Closing Prayer:

"Shepherd of our Soul, we give you full control. Wherever you may lead we will follow. We have made the choice to listen for your voice. Wherever you may lead we will go.1" And as we listen for your voice, Father, we pray that we will experience the forgiving love that you have made available to us all. There are times when no matter how hard we try, we stumble from the pathway you would have us walk. Once we stumble then we struggle to find evidence of your love in our lives. Everything seems dark and hopeless. We become disenchanted that we will never be worthy of your love. We become burdened with guilt and overwhelmed with the understanding that we do not have the power to lift our selves from the pit of sin, despair, and hopelessness. And then, out of the gloom of night, we hear your voice. You, personally, walk into our life with a message of hope, love, and forgiveness. You shed your light onto our path and show us that we have never strayed from your love and that forgiveness has already been provided. You bring help in order to control the uncontrollable. You bring love in order to love the unlovable. You bring peace to calm the stormy seas. You place us back on the pathway to righteousness that leads us to your glory. And then, suddenly, when we thought this was all about our lives and feelings of worthlessness, you place us in ministry and we find our selves reaching out to other lost and hurt souls. We are still on the mend and yet, we have become Christ for another. This is truly a miracle. We pray that we always respond to your voice so that the world can see Christ and experience the great things you have in store. Through Christ, the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

1>"Shepherd of My Soul," by Martin Nystrom, CCLI Song No. 24054 © 1986 Maranatha Praise, Inc. For use solely in accordance with the SongSelect Basic Terms of Agreement. All rights Reserved. CCLI License No. 1573248

Inspired by 1 Peter 2:2-10 and by the congregation of saints at FUMC Albuquerque, NM

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joyce Poet 22 Apr 2005
My friend, you've done it again! I know God's awesome. I know He does miracles. I know He is omnipresent. But I've just sat here for about the last three days now with my chin fallen on my knees because of the great big picture I see opening up across FaithWriters and the common denominators in so many people's writings... including my own. While we're tripping over things in our pathway because we were too blind to see them there (like low-lying fences and such) it's good to know we've got people on our side... people slow to judge and quick to minister. I've been in a similar place just lately. Not quite so elaborate, but I think it was to teach me a little lesson about giving complete control of everything to God... about "Leaving it all on the Rock." What really stood out most in your article for me were these two sentences: "You place us back on the pathway to righteousness that leads us to your glory. And then, suddenly, when we thought this was all about our lives and feelings of worthlessness, you place us in ministry and we find our selves reaching out to other lost and hurt souls."


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