Second: See the previous blog
The next thing that became a game changer was that I needed to be sensitive to the nudges and prompts that God gives out for those who are willing to be responsive.
I was prompted in my thoughts, “You were wrong in your dealings with Sam (not his real name) when you told him to get his act together regarding his marriage.”
Years earlier I had lost patience with a dear friend. He was struggling in his marriage, and I had coached and prayed and helped in all ways that I knew how. After many months of doing this I lost patience and just said one day, “Sam when are you going to get your act together?” I was only partway out of my legalistic tendencies. I was still learning how to live free and full of grace toward others.
Moments like this are pivotal, but I didn’t recognize it at the moment.
It was years later in a conversation with God when he brought this up. God had me. Guilty as charged.
I knew my next step was to contact Sam, own my stuff, and Seek forgiveness. I did and was able to grow from this ordeal. I hope he did as well.
It is so easy to fall from Grace. A nuance, a proud moment, a frustrated goal, all can take you into doing things your way and falling away from God’s ability and empowerment. It wasn’t my first encounter and probably not my last.
We need always to be walking humbly with God, Micah 6:8, but it is easy to morph to our own path.
I learned that to have and live a grace-filled life I needed to know how deep my mess went. It was deep.
I learned that we are no different. If left to my own devices, if my background, my family, my life and contextual circumstances were exactly like yours, I would make the exact same decisions that you have made. Every part, every dysfunction, that you experience would be mine and conversely mine would be yours. That is what addressing the mess looks like.
I am susceptible if I try to do life on my own.
I need Gods empowering every bit as much as you or anybody else because if left to myself, I would fall, I would do ‘human’ every time.
So, Grace is God’s empowering for us to do what we cannot do for ourselves. It is the outworking of who the Holy Spirit is in us. If I fall here all I need to do is address the mess, confess it to God, obey him, and once again recalibrate.
Then, only then, I can reach out and be helpful.