I am a mistake-maker. I am sometimes quick to speak – blurting out things in hopes of filling the silence. Some recipes don’t pan out as planned. And often, I find myself going the wrong way in spite of the GPS directions on my phone…
But through those mistakes – the big and little – I have been given grace by others, including coworkers, friends, or family. And some of those have been sort-of-big mistakes or near-misses. Despite their kind smiles and thoughtful words, I still have a hard time letting it go. The mature response would be this: I’ve made a mistake but everything is ok and I’ve learned an invaluable lesson that will continue to guide my actions. I will remember this every time after.
The actual response is – F—- (or any other expletive to your liking), I screwed up big time! Aggghhhh – how could I do that? Can you just punish me instead? Just yell at me, a little…just a little…c’mon..
Perhaps this agonizing feeling is something others can relate to. I didn’t realize how much this agonizing feeling makes me want to run away from any sort of grace – until I reread the entirety of Romans 4. The following are the two verses I found myself cringe over:
When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. (Romans 4:4-5, New Living Translation).
Before this season, I don’t think I experienced such direct, real-life grace from others. (Before this season, I also don’t think I’ve made as many remarkable mistakes; although, that probably comes with the territory of being a “responsible adult.”) But if receiving grace for my direct actions is so cringe-invoking, how much harder is it for me to receive relentless grace that impacts me eternally?