Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Voter Registration, Aggressive Drivers, and the Grace of God

There is a woman in Arizona who thinks it is very important to vote.  She thinks it is so important that she ran over her husband for failing to do so.  Wow.

This is how it happened: the woman’s husband admitted that he hadn’t participated in this year’s election.  The woman got mad, her husband fled the scene, and she followed in her car.  Police caught up with the couple and found the husband pinned underneath his wife’s vehicle.  He told the officers that his wife ran him because of his “lack of voter participation.”

We laugh at that odd news story, but how many of us behave that way in our spiritual life?  Someone does something that is bad (worse than not voting) and we go after him or her.  We point out the sin, describe how wrong it is, and then park on it.  We want the person to pay the price for the mistake and we are happy to enforce it.
The sad thing about that approach to sin is this: it robs people of the opportunity to change.  So much damage is done in emphasizing the sin, we never get the chance to mention God’s forgiveness or redemptive work.  Basically, we ruin our chance to point to a real solution.

The Gospel of John says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  Jesus came to forgive people of sin so that they might be changed for the better.  Jesus came to offer a solution.  No car chase needed.

As you go through the coming week, see how grace opens doors for real change. Don’t get offended by a problem and park on it.  Be gracious and tell people about a God who forgives and redeems the broken.  You’ll find that focusing on the solution is way more effective than focusing on the problem.  And, it will be a lot easier on your tires.

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