I had struggled for so many years with feelings that I had so totally blown it in life, that God could never use me. I felt like God only tolerated me because of some cosmic rule that said He had to love everyone. Sort of like the brother-in-law and family that show up in the Clark Griswold movies – you know the ones – they just aren’t like you and if you had your choice, you’d never have them around. But they are family, and the “rules” say you have to deal with them.
Honestly, that’s how I thought God saw me… pretty sad.
Horrible theology-the result of years of legalism and judgment.
The biggest sin, the near-unpardonable one was a divorce. If you read my blog, Sounds of Hope, you know the story of that divorce – hardly something I chose. For years, every time it came up – usually as the result of children who were blond and children who were darker, I’d sort of hang my head in shame and say “I was married before.” I felt like Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, but my letter was a D, not an A. Although based on some people’s theology, it could have been an A too.
I finally got it though. I am still getting it. The thing I am most passionate about is communicating God’s grace. You may say, oh that’s really weird that she thought that – God is love – we teach that to the youngest of children. We teach them to sing Jesus loves me this I know… And Grace? Isn’t that from the near national anthem we sing – Amazing Grace how sweet the sound…Ahh, but the reality is so many of us carry around bad tapes in our heads that tell us that we are unlovable.
I could go into long explanations as to how my thinking was so warped. I believe in Godly living. It’s a good thing – but so often we get caught up in being so righteous that we forget that Jesus ate with sinners. His grace has no limit. NONE… ZERO… NADA… I get that now most of the time… I still have my moments where judgmental people impose the D word or other labels upon me and I want to shrink back in my sackcloth and ashes. But then I remember Grace.
If you’ve heard me preach, you know that Grace is a constant theme. Grace has given me hope and hope does not disappoint …
Romans 5:1 Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.Have you ever felt like you were sitting in sackcloth and ashes when you didn't need to?