Grace bombs for the long haul

I’ve heard the LGBTQ+ community showers people with love-bombs. But I don’t think they’re only group who accepts converts and postulants with rejoicing. The LDS church here in Boise sent a crew to help us move and bring dinner, even though we did not attend their church. The church we attended didn’t send anyone. Well, one guy showed up. But he didn’t stay long and seemed confused about the moving furniture part.

It’s arguable that some faiths have a better practice of community, but I don’t think it was because our church didn’t want to help or embrace people. I actually think it has something to do with how humans invite people to their beliefs. I’ve seen Christian churches without helps-ministry swarm visitors if they are obviously from a different faith, not always in a good way, but still with great joy. This could have something to do with how validated we feel when someone agrees with us—how they legitimize our stance—but I don’t want to go there today.

What I want to explore is how little patience we have for each other when we’ve been there awhile and should have our shite together. Compare the different welcome for a visitor who goes forward at the altar call, verses the one who needs prayer every week, because “Dude, you’re saved already.”

My sister has a memory that’s funny to her now, but at the time she was incredulous. She had a new baby or two, and my older kids were fighting. The one on the bottom bunk was kicking the mattress above, because whoever it was didn’t like the sleeping arrangement. She didn’t understand why they were being so immature—didn’t they have things figured out by age seven and nine?! Why were they fighting like toddlers? Once she realized my kids weren’t unusually discordant children, she understood parenting would not end for her as quick as she had assumed. Similarly, I remember thinking my nephew was totally out of control when I was wholly ignorant and hadn’t been the parent of a two-year yet.

We expect so much more from older people than younger. I have ample grace for my kids, but it tends to run dry for my parents, or even my husband. They’ve had time to pull it together. Granted, my parents are no longer 100% older than me and each year the gap lessens. So it makes me sad to think my kids might not have grace for me. After all, I still feel like I’m winging this life thing.

It’s assumed that people older than us, or even more so, those in a structural position of authority should have their sin under better control than the rest of us. It is true that James 3:1 says teachers will have stricter judgement. I heard a sermon recently that acknowledged the stricter judgement will come from both God and man.

Still, why aren’t they perfect yet? How dare they be in charge of something if they aren’t…and what do we do in the meantime?

Wholly not Holy

It really comes down to your exposure. If we live in a vacuum, we won’t see our own sin and if we live in an echo chamber, we’ll think we’re always right. Thinking I’m perfect and right makes me expect my elders and leaders to be holy instead of just wholly committed.

Of course, if I leave my vacuum or echo chamber, there’s fear of dying of exposure.

It doesn’t have to happen or be that way. My community is extremely accepting of my failure. I can be wholly sold out for Christ and at the same time nowhere near holy. The people I chose to spend time with love honesty–so I know grace for the long haul can be cultivated. I see it playing out, regularly.

Grace for those who are older than/over us is not tolerance of sin. God is all about exposure and promises that everything done in secret will be brought to light. His covering of sin is not covering up sin. As we worship God’s characteristic of long-suffering love toward us…we need to offer as much as to want to receive to all those who really should have it together already.

6 thoughts on “Grace bombs for the long haul

  1. Kapri Walsh says:

    Reading this was both inspiring and convicting. What an incredible reminder that holiness is not always determined by wholeness. I just made a quick phone call to remind my “older” that I love her. Her giggle and surprise was all the evidence needed to know Jesus used your words in my life today. Thank you.

  2. Letty says:

    “Grace for those who are older than/over us is not tolerance of sin. God is all about exposure and promises that everything done in secret will be brought to light. His covering of sin is not covering up sin.”

    What a beautiful reminder of God’s love and Grace

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