Radical Growth in Grace

If there is not radical growth in humble love toward everyone (even your enemies), you don’t really know you are a SINNER saved by grace. If there is not radical, concrete growth in confidence and joy (even in difficulties) you don’t really know you are a sinner saved by GRACE. — Tim Keller

Sue and I do a Marriage Rebuilder ministry at our Church. I also facilitate a mens group called True North.  In both groups we have couples and men struggling with some difficult issues.  My goal as a facilitator is make these groups a safe place where couples and men can engage in James 5:16 (confess your sins and pray for each other for healing).

Sometimes in order to grow in life it means going backward in life and making amends with the people you have hurt.  This means taking a risk because the other side can spew out “condemnation” toward you when you try to restore the relationship.  You may never have the relationship totally restored but God will always honor honesty.. even when other people don’t or when other people condemn you for your actions. Unfortunately its not always safe to take risks with some people but that is why there is risk involved I guess!

As I write this I think of a time last summer when I was planning a new ministry at Grace Church. As I was walking out someone from my past was in the SUV picking up her kids.  As she saw me she waved at me and smiled.  Later that day she sent me an e-mail apologizing for having a critical, condemning spirit of me.  You see us and this couple have a broken relationship that started when they found out about my sin about 10 years ago and even though we spoke no words as I walked out the door she continued to hold things against me.  I appreciate her e-mail and apology  but wonder if the root of this critical, condemning spirit  is also the same root and reason  of why every other friend relationship ( a total of 5 broken relationships)  I share with them is also broken…. and also why it plays out so prevalently in their own rocky marriage.

My prayer for them is at some point they can go backward someday and maybe even reconcile those broken relationships with family and friends as opposed to just moving forward and leaving all the relational carnage behind. I believe growth would occur on both sides if they can shine the True North of the Gospel message of Christ on those relationships!

The way its been working …. for me at least…. is that the depth of the my understanding of the Gospel, grace, and mercy increases as I work the Gospel out in a community of people. Not just a community of people that have all the same ideas but a community of people that have different ideas, sins,  and agendas than mine.

If there is not radical growth in humble love toward everyone (even your enemies), you don’t really know you are a SINNER saved by grace. If there is not radical, concrete growth in confidence and joy (even in difficulties) you don’t really know you are a sinner saved by GRACE. — Tim Keller

My .02c for the day!

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