Tuesday, May 24, 2016
This morning I had coffee with an old friend who recently got "kicked out" of his church because of sin in his life. It always surprises me when a church, the place where sinners are supposed to find help, kicks those sinners out of church for the sins they most need help with!
What is wrong with us? How do we think this is anything like Christ?
His comment to me (edited for your ears) was simply this, "It's a great church, just don't f--k up or be honest about your problems."
Did he sin that bad? Oh yeah, he did! But how would Jesus have dealt with the same thing? He forgave! He forgave the woman caught in sin, he forgave the leper for breaking the law by reaching out and touching him, he forgave Judas...he forgave me!
There are Christian lepers among us, people who sin, and are trying to deal with the sin, repent of it and walk with Christ, but we seem to have trouble with sinners, we expect everyone to have this whole Christian thing figured out, but no one does. We are all messed up, we are all working on it....and no one gets it right... no one.
I'm forgiven, but I still mess up. I still sin. I don't want to, but I still do (Romans 7). I'm forgiven, but I'm not perfect. I will be one day, but for today, I'm a work in progress...a Christian leper, forgiven, but still dealing with some of the sin that has ruined my life. One day, when Christ returns, I will be like him, but until then give me grace, give me space. Forgive me, because I'm going to sin....and I might hurt you. I'm not doing it on purpose, I would rather not, but I know I will.
As a pastor I know that we all struggle, we are all lepers becoming like Christ (Heb. 10:14), but until we are complete here are our instructions from the master, (Luke 6:27-38)-