Thursday, April 21, 2011

Living What We Believe

A couple of days later, I am still moved by the Vicki Courtney post 4/19 and the overwhelming response it received from supportive, loving readers who acknowledge that 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God' and but for the grace of God it could be me (or my children).

I loved what Vicki wrote in her follow up post yesterday:
“If more people saw the brand of Christianity that was expressed by those leaving the comments, people would be beating our church doors down to get in.”

Isn't that the Truth? So, what is the problem? Why was this situation so remarkable? Why is it so unusual to find such overwhelming support in the wake of sinful choices?

I think it was because Vicki and her family were humble, honest and contrite that people were drawn to this story. They didn't sugarcoat reality, blame others, try to cover up the truth or respond with intense emotion that clouded their judgment. Their response was akin to what I would think Jesus would express: sorrow, grace and love.

I confess that I am too often the Prodigal's Older Sibling--frustrated that my 'goodness' is being overlooked for the sake of the one who has stumbled and is now returning to a glorious homecoming. Wouldn't it be a beautiful thing if we could all remember the grace we have received and extend it lovingly to others? This is the Message of Easter.

Let's live the Word we claim to believe. Let's apply God's Truth to our reality and love each other in a way that makes other people want what makes us different.


Arlene @At Home with the Grimms said...

I am with you Jmom....I am the older sibling of the prodigal. Our nature is so fallen and that comes home to me especially at Easter. We had a Maundy Thursday service and we sang Amazing Grace at the end of the service. I am so glad Jesus saved a wretch like me.

Mindy said...

MY goodness. I needed this reminder this night. I certainly have the tendency to be the older brother way more often than not. I've been very frustrated with some people this evening for doing what they want to do rather than what I think they should do and what I HAVE to do.....yes. I am the older brother. Thanks for the reminder. I've been praying that God would show me how to love like He loves!

Marta Jeremy Emily and Abigail said...

You have really hit on the issue here. Many times as Christians we're pressured to hand out grace way before the offender has even offered an apology. People expect us to willingly love and accept them after they've failed, but they refuse to humbly admit they were wrong and ask for forgiveness. (I'd imagine that is why many get hurt by the Church, forgiveness is not given quick enough, or for others its too quick/before repentance) Its easy to say, well they were not loving and forgiving of my mistake, and blame others instead of humbly admitting that we need forgiveness and grace. The humility makes it so much easier for us to really FEEL the desire to forgive and restore. Its something each side needs to be aware of and work towards. And we need to be careful to hold each other accountable, forgiving and restoring too quickly can have an equally devastating effect, one of appearing to or even openly condoning sin.

Peter and Nancy said...

Your words reminded me of how the Amish community victimized by the shooter (a few years back) astonished the media and the world by offering forgiveness. Often, I wish we Christians were known for what we're *for*, instead of who/what we're against.

Wife Goes On said...

Thank you for the link, the post, and the reminder that we need to let people know we are Christians by our actions and attitudes, and if necessary then use words. So often we are judgmental and hateful to those in our own congregations and families. Here's to more of our lives being about shining the light of Christ outward.