Facing the Worst in Ourselves, and Learning Grace [excerpt]

© 2006 Greg DunlapFlickr | CC-BY via Wylio
What would it take for us to stop playing this game, understand that Romans 3 is real, and be able to face the worst in ourselves and in others?

We perpetuate this lie that there is such a thing as a clean life, a closet without skeletons. Because we do that, we continue to be shocked every time we find out otherwise. We live our days in the midst of this fake drama of being self-assured and put together, and start to believe it’s our true narrative. We live with lists of “unforgivable sins,” but it just so happens that none of our own sins are on the list. When someone else gets exposed, we retreat to our positions of judgment and superiority — not to punish them but to protect ourselves.

Church, instead of being a place of freedom from this game, is too often a place for upping the ante, a place for advanced-level players of this game. Church can end up being a place where we are expected to hide from our brokenness rather than admitting it, working through it, and receiving the grace of God. Somehow, the church must become the place of refuge for the repentant tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) rather than where the adulterous woman, covering her head, waits for the first stone (John 7:53-8:11).

Most harmful behavior boils down to a hidden fear or unmet need. We really never know how we would respond in certain situations. It’s the circumstances we rarely take the time to understand, but it’s the circumstances that are key... [read the full article at Baptist News Global]