Mercy, grace and forgiveness


Dear Friends:

I had hoped to write last night, but the late presentation followed by a later dinner with an alumni put me home too late.  I really do like to post these daily, please forgive me for missing the one yesterday.

But today, as I was praying, I thought about how much I wanted—and need— God’s mercy.  “Mercy” refers to God’s compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an a person like me that deserves punishment.  It has to do with God, the one power, having compassion, pity, or benevolence towards folks, again like me, that have done the wrong thing.  If I am held accountable for all the bad things I think, all my hidden purposes, all the sins of my youth and stumbling as an adult—-I am in deep trouble.

I also though about how much I want and need God’s grace—which is.the unmerited,  undeserved favor of God to those who should be condemned.  I need His blessings, His help, His hand to protect and direct me and, more than anything else, to know that I am being held as the apple of His eye.

Finally, I considered how much I want and need God’s forgiveness. Although I REALLY try to keep myself holy and set apart for Him, I am forever slipping and failing to be the real man I know that I could be and that He has called me to become. God please forgive me for my ineptitude and bad choices!

But with these three in mind, how do I treat others? How do I respond to staff that disappoint me? How do I treat the waiter at the restaurant that forgets about waiting on me for thirty minutes last night!?  What do I say (or think) and the lazy attendant at the hotel that speaks surly and unprofessionally behind a desk as I attempt to check in? 

These are not theoretical questions, but real life examples of me being able to declare, “He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives………..within my heart”.  Or I must admit that once again I messed the opportunity to prove that Jesus lives and Dean has died to self.

I want mercy—-ALL THE TIME……….but do I give it all the time? I want grace—-ABUNDANTLY——but do I give it extravagantly to others during the day?  I plead for His forgiveness for once again screwing things up……….but am I willing to forgive 70x7 the brother that screws things up for me?

I hope that God never says, “Ok, that’s enough. I have had it. I am done with you. Get out of my face and out of my life”.   In fact, I know He never will give up on me.  He expects no less from me when I get exasperated with others. 

 

Dean Barley

 


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