Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Radical Grace Part 2-Nothing to Prove…Nothing to Argue

God has been dealing with me about the concept of radical grace.  Originally, I posted this as a simple devotional.  But as I read this, and as looked at what God has been teaching me I realized that I needed to add some more to it to help work this series out...and hopefully will help unpack this concept of Grace especially the radical part of it....I hope to in Radical Grace 1C--The Introduction hope to tie things together to help everyone see where we are going with this topic...enjoy!  Relax and realize that you are in a safe place here.
Let's get started.....
So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I'd say it leaves you looking pretty silly-or worse. Eventually, we're all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren't going to improve your position there one bit.Read it for yourself in Scripture: "As I live and breathe," God says, "every knee will bow before me; Every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God."So tend to your knitting. You've got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God. (Romans 14:10-12, The Message Bible)
Over the past few days I have read and seen some really upsetting things both personally and theologically.  My first reaction has always been to react and say something (usually without thinking it through) and then be REALLY angry and upset.  Then I usually get a case of vengance and think I have to write and say something to correct or alleviate the situation and help God correct the situation.  In the end not much is accomplished and I end up feeling more fustrated than I was before.
And ultimately nothing will have changed......and sin has a greater grip on me.  For me, the issue isn't anger or even the need to right a percieved theological wrong and validate myself or set someone else straight...the issue is.....my sin.

My sin.....that's right...you heard me....I said that the issue was my sin. I completely understand CJ Mahaney's statement when he says that he is the worse sinner he knows.
I am....the worse sinner I know.  The reason why? Because I am most familiar with my own sins....notice I didn't say your sins...I said my sins.

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So when I am upset by the utter heretical nonsense that some people write and have the urge to speak out and try and correct the problem.  God brings me back to earth and shows me I have plenty to do and learn as a husband, a father and a follower of Christ who is leading his own family and dealing with all of the daily challenges that this presents.  In the end, today, when I had the urge to argue for the truth..not because God was leading me to this conclusion..but because my sinful pride said I had to say something about something that didn't have anything to do with me.

I realize that the truth was already defended  more than  2000 years ago when a simple carpenter paid the ultimate price for my sin.  There is nothing else left to prove and I will leave the debating to those who are better equipped to do so. Besides, I want my children to have a heritage that is based in a confidence in God and what he has accomplished rather than living with a perpetual chip on their shoulders...as my wife has reminded me before that all arguing ever does is raise my blood pressure.
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
(Proverbs 10:19, NLT)
Question: How do you share your faith without getting into an argument? Where does your faith sharing come from? Is it out of pride that you share? Or are you sharing out of love and concern about the other person's eternal destiny?

Until next time...I will be dancing with my wife at the foot of the Cross,
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