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<strong/> © </a><a href=''>Luis Francisco Cordero</a> | <a href=''></a>

photo: © Luis Francisco Cordero |

WHAMMY ONE-Have you ever found yourself being critical of someone and realized as you were verbalizing the words to yourself or a trusted friend, that you were talking about yourself!  That happened this week.  I found myself being critical of someone who, by her neglect of herself, had put a burden on others.  For some reason it irritated me way beyond what was a reasonable response.

This person hadn’t eaten and passed out at work.  I tried to mask my irritation when it happened, but it irritated me that we had to limp along a few hours while she got checked out after hitting her head.  Then I realized that I get careless about going to sleep in a timely way which puts me at a higher risk for seizures.  Then I can’t drive, we have extra inconveniences and it is a mess!  It is no different really.

WHAMMY TWO-I discovered this week that I am not the honest person I thought I was.  I hate it when people are dishonest or deceitful.  I learned I am that person.  An event happened that brought it out in living color to me.

Let me back up a bit.  I have always identified with the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son.  I’m not proud of that, I’m just saying that I have.  Partly it is because I am the oldest child in our family, partly because my view of myself was that I was a good person.  I was fairly compliant as a kid and tried to do the right thing.

My motivation for obedience was not particularly lofty.  I just hated pain.  Still do!  Those were the days when spankings were common punishments for children.  I didn’t like them.  Therefore, I did what would not cause me to get one.  Or I tried not to get caught.

Yes, self-righteousness was my sin-du-jour, well, actually, it was my sin-du-vive.  I tried to mask it, but the fact is that I was/am self-righteous.  I catch those thoughts coming and correct them as much as possible but they live there…often!

The event that happened this week showed me that I am way more concerned about my convenience, looking good, not suffering uncomfortable results than I am actually being a person of truth and integrity.  Yes, I want to be honest.  I want to help others.

But given JUST the right set of circumstances: feeling bad, time pressure, pressure from management, the high probability that I would not get found out…the bottom line is that I am a truly rotten sinner.  That verse in Jeremiah is SO true, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

So, shall I crawl in a hole and despair?  NO,  despite my actions that were rather like Achan’s (although the issue was not stealing) I was trying to cover what I didn’t do like he did.  I spent a few hours scheming to myself and thinking I could “get away with it”.

My inability to be able to go to sleep showed me that God’s grace is still active in my life!  He would not let me cover my sin!  I had to sit down and write out what had to be made right.  Then I was able to go to sleep.

Today, when I went to the person who needed to know, she was not available.  I was able to leave the information for her in writing until she can get to it.  I will know next week what the outcome is.  Meanwhile, God has forgiven me and I have a new realization of how MUCH I need his grace…daily.

This evening as we shared in the Lord’s Supper, I was ministered to once again…another ministry of grace.

This was written a few months ago.  The follow-up happened and all was made right.  God’s grace is good because He shows us who we really are.  He doesn’t allow us to continue in our self-righteous, sinful, delusional patterns.  It doesn’t feel good, but it is good.

How has God shown His grace to you?

Have you experienced His forgiveness in new ways recently?