Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
TITLE: Grace Rediscovered
By Ruth Thoutenhoofd
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Challenge 2 “Oops”
I made a mistake. I don’t understand exactly what I did wrong, but I hear that someone is angry at me, so angry that she left the church, has wandered far from the fragile relationship she once had with the church and maybe God himself, has left her husband and is off with a new boyfriend overseas. Surely, this is not my fault! I don’t even remember much about our relationship, never had a clue she was angry, and now I hear at a coffee shop that my name has come up as someone she needs to forgive! I feel bewildered and anxious to talk to her, but evidently she can’t be reached from where I am.
So here I am, having unwittingly made a mistake that has made someone angry at me, the church, and maybe God. And there’s apparently nothing I can do about it. All I can do right now is to ask God how he feels about my blunder. If I hear Him right, He’s not angry at me at all, doesn’t blame me for this woman’s unhappy life. Apparently she was going to be angry no matter what I did. She hadn’t really met Christ in a way that transformed her heart. She had things going on in her life that left her wanting to find someone to blame. Probably she is now citing me as the problem to relieve herself of the guilt of disobedience. She needs to meet Jesus.
So I will contact her as soon as possible. I remember the scripture that tells me to leave my gift at the altar and go make things right if I know someone has something against me, and then I can come back to worship my Lord. I look forward to the talk, the confrontation, trying to understand the mistake I made, and asking for her forgiveness.
I will tell her the truth; that I was thoughtless and didn’t think about how my actions would affect her. I will try to understand how she is thinking. Maybe, just maybe God can use me in her life to help her get free from the bondage of anger.
I can do this humbly and hopefully graciously, not because I am special, but because I have been forgiven so much. I know what it’s like to lash out, find fault, and blame the church for things that go wrong in my life. I’ve experienced God’s amazing love and acceptance even in the midst of my anger and faithlessness. I’m awed at the light He continues to shine in my dark places. “Ì will never leave you or forsake you”. I, who have been forgiven much, can forgive and ask forgiveness. More importantly, I can forgive myself for a major blunder and move on in the grace of God. This is a newly acquired realization that suddenly I find breathtaking in its profundity and the freedom it brings.
Am I just now understanding grace after forty years of walking with God?
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