Sunday, October 5, 2008

He That Is Without Sin . . .

Our open forum topic in our class today was divorce. What a touchy subject in this day and time! As it happens, we have some in our class who have experienced the tragedy of divorce firsthand. No one ever comes out of divorce unscathed. That's why God sets such high goals for His kids. He doesn't want any of us to have to endure the heartbreak and sadness that comes with the break up of a relationship. But it happens. So how do we deal with it in our own circle of family and friends. Often, God's grace and forgiveness far exceeds ours. In the case where I'm the grateful receipient of that grace and forgiveness, I'm thankful He's God. But that's not all there is to it. I must also be gracious and forgiving to others who have made mistakes, bad decisions and wrong choices.

I also spoke at length with a young woman this morning before class that is struggling emotionally. She's sad and angry all the time and doesn't want to be around people. She doesn't understand what's happening to her, and, when asked to explain her feelings to her husband or someone else, she's at a complete loss for a plausible explanation. Having suffered from depression for a number of years myself, I was able to love her and minister to her without judging her. I know how lost and hopeless a person can feel sometimes.

Finally, I went early today to practice with a group of young folks (well, most of them in their 20's) who were singing for Morning Worship. Four of them sing together. As it turned out, one of the boys had received a call from another young man in church saying he needed a ride to Sunday School. Instead of the young man coming on to practice and picking his friend up after practice was finished, he opted to go pick up his friend and miss the practice. It was quite frustrating to those of us who had sacrificed to go to church early to get this final practice under our belts before the service. It was so frustrating to the other young man in the group that he has chosen not to sing with them again for a period of time. I got to thinking about that. The first young man definitely should have honored his commitment to come practice. However, that doesn't justify the second young man. We can really control no one but ourselves (and sometimes that's a job in itself), so we're just wasting time in trying to control someone else by punishing them by our actions. The second young man loves to sing. So , who is he really hurting? He was upset; that's a given. But everyone will be better off if he chooses to lay his anger aside and continue singing with the group. The first young man sincerely apologized to me for not attending, and that's good enough for me.

An eventful morning. So many lives. So many problems. So many choices. So many needs. I've botched things up too many times to sit in judgment of anyone else. Lord, let me be there when someone needs my help, my encouragement, or the comfort of Your precious Holy Spirit.

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