Stubbed Hearts

There’s nothing quite like a stubbed toe. It can bring out the inner sailor mouth in any of us. You can be in a hurry, just minding your own business, trying to get things done, when….BAM….your poor unsuspecting toe hits the corner of the wall, the leg of a chair, or a bed frame. Ouch! 😵

The pain can be searing and you think your toe might just fall off. Actually, you kind of hope it does  just so the pain will alleviate. My initial instinct is to kick the object of my pain again, because,  it hurt me!😉  Then your whole body goes on temporary  lock down until the pain subsides.   It seems certain that the toe has been crushed,  given the intensity of the the pain, but it’s most often just bruised, and will heal over time.

There is no thinking clearly or communicating with grace in these moments. Just intense, overwhelming pain. How can something so small, cause so much anguish? I surrendered my inner sailor mouth years ago, when I became a Jesus follower, so I’ve had to create new vinacular for moments like this. If you hear me say “crumb bucket”…it’s serious! 😜 (Occasionally the pirate in me will still escape, though, if the conditions are just right…or maybe just wrong. 😉).

But there’s something far worse than a stubbed toe, even more painful, and that is a stubbed heart.

A couple weeks ago my husband and I experienced the trauma of a stubbed heart once again.   We were on the recieving end of hurtful words, accusations, and blame….followed by what feels like complete rejection from a few people we have called friends.  So painful!  It happens in life. We know in this life we will have troubles, but there are occasions, when like an unexpected stubbed toe, it seemingly comes out of nowhere, hitting you by surprise and knocking the air from your lungs. It feels more like the shattering of our hearts into pieces. It can cause that sinking feeling, out of complete disbelief, in a free fall of hurt, and initially it feels as though the heart might just give out altogether.  Life becomes temporarily on lock down, for my mind and heart feel high jacked by hurt; an unwelcome intruder.  There is no shaking off this pain and nothing but time and clinging to God’s gracious hand will lessen the ache. Kicking the source of my pain won’t fix it, though I have to admit, I’ve visilualized that a time or two…or three or four. 😉  We have to deal with our stubbed hearts, but we won’t die from them,  contrary to my feelings.

Ever felt accused and betrayed by people you care about?  We’ve experienced this kind of pain more than I’d like to remember.   I doubt I’m alone in this, given that even our Savior,  Jesus, experienced the heartache of interrogation, accusation, rejection,  and ultimately, condemnation from the religious “elite”, and yet, Jesus was and IS perfect. Even His closest friends  failed Him, as He prepared for His painstaking journey to the cross.  Remember Peter? He denied knowing Jesus to protect himself.  Or how about the two “sons of Zebedee”? They fell asleep instead of praying like Jesus had asked. Jesus was literally sweating drops of blood, and they couldn’t even pray?? How unbelievable! How wrong! How selfish!! How HUMAN….

Then there’s the obvious…Judas.  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Yes, Jesus understands being let down by people, being labeled, rejected and accused. I wonder if the emotional lashes that He acquired were as painful as the physical lashes? Sometimes it seems that heartaches are intolerable.  When my heart feels teetering on fragile, torn strings, my Jesus, He holds my heart so tenderly, until I’m completely tethered to Him. It is at this point I’m reminded that “if God is for me, who can be against me?” Oh to be loved by Him! He restores my soul to wellness and peace.

Stubbing my toe can cause me to jump up and down with tears in  my eyes….grabbing the wounded little piggy in hopes it will cease its torment. A stubbed heart can illicit similar kinds of reactions. My inclination is to throw a tantrum of teenage size, throwing accusations back, pleading my case, while covering my heart so as to safeguard it from further injury. But then, Jesus…..

He reminds me of His response when accused. His was often silent, for no justification was necessary from Almighty God. When insults and accusations were lashed upon Him in His final days on earth, His words were few with the occasional, “yep that’s who I Am”, or “yep, that’s what you said about me.” (Pardon my paraphrase😉). No denials, just acceptance, for He knew their hearts and minds.  There was no rationalizing with them. A heart determined to find flaw will inevitably find it.  Besides its so much easier to see the mistakes in others; then we don’t have to look within.  Jesus knew His calling in life was ultimately in His death for all of humanity and so He went quietly, willingly.  He modeled surrender and sacrifice.  Ouch!

The truth is Jesus WAS the King of the Jews (as they mocked), the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is, in fact, only guilty of being who He said He is. But you know what? At the end of the day, I am guilty. Guilty of all kinds of imperfections, some intentional, some not…..and so are you.  But God knows our hearts. He alone knows our every thought and intention.  With that knowledge I can sing “It is Well with my soul.”

I’m taking my stubbed heart to Jesus and asking Him to soothe the pain, and to help me move forward in spite of the hurt. It’s easy to get stuck in the throbbing aftermath of accusations and rejection.  We can be consumed by it, debilitating us from God’s purpose and plan for our lives. It clouds the mind, and lingers like a fog, that effects our focus and ability to find joy.  Fog can be dangerous. We can lose our way, or rather, His way, if we aren’t careful.  I know I’ve lost my way if I’m more concerned about what people might think about me/us than what God thinks.

Here’s what I’ve learned in my 40ish 😉 years of life: stubbed hearts won’t kill you, but they can propel you toward the arms of Jesus. His loving, grace-filled, forgiving, perfect, patient, humble, gentle, comforting arms will enable us to rest in the storms, trust in the uncertainty, forgive the unforgiveable, offer grace to the most ungracious, and love until our last breath. If heartache is what it takes to trust Jesus more, then bring on the pain! There’s nothing like knowing Jesus and being known by Him.  He loves us in ALL of our imperfections. ❤️

In coping with heartache, I’ve opted for silence and prayer. I’ve written letters to our “friend” and those entertaining negative perceptions about us, and I’ve kept them: usually a good idea after a stubbed heart. God can handle our “crumb bucket” moments, but people usually can’t.  Feelings can be controlled through the power of the Holy Spirit. I will refuse to villainise those that have hurt us, because God’s grace is as sufficient for them as it is for us.  Thank you Jesus!

I’ve cried and cried, and then cried a lot more, releasing the pain, but also allowing myself to feel it. Ignoring our pain just saves it for later and it ends up spewing out on innocent bystanders….usually those we love the most. After buckets of tears and sometimes through them, I praised God. I mean like hands fully extended, heart fully exposed, with passion and assurance, praised His name. In my bathroom. In my bedroom. In my kitchen. In my car. Anywhere and everywhere I’ve been praising Him, because He is good! He is not responsible for my hurt but He will use it to His good and for my growth. When I praise Him, my heart feels lighter, taking the hurt away, even if only temporarily.

Aches and pain seem to return at night. Why is that? What is it about bedtime that brings out every hurtful thought, worry and anxiety? 😳  The enemy seems to delight in the darkness, so we must engage The Light. I’ve opened up my bible when dark thoughts tried to creep in.  I’ve paused to pray, read articles that are helpful for our situation, and looked for ways to reach out to others. A few nights ago I was wrestling with my hurt, so I baked pound cake for some new friends and took it to their home. It got me thinking forward instead of dwelling on the pain and sitting in misery. What could have been a night of basking in my sorrows, became an evening of friendly conversation and the smell of coconut pound cake….the smell alone helped distract my weary heart.😉

Are you feeling hurt, accused and misunderstood this week? Remember it’s just a stubbed heart.  It won’t kill you but it can make you stronger in Him. This momentary pain won’t last forever, but God’s grace will. In the scope of eternity, this is a tiny, itty bitty, owie….your heart is stubbed, not shattered. He will work this to His good, even if you can’t see how right now. Have faith for what you can’t yet see. The fog is going to lift at some point and it will all become clear. With tears and the Son comes a beautiful rainbow!🌈🙌

Know this, Jesus is empathizing with you. He’s felt the sting of accusation, speculation and condemnation of others. Take your wounded heart to Him. He understands.

Be prayerful. Be patient. Get to praising. Press into Jesus for His power, and bake pound cake for friends…😉 He’s got a plan and a purpose for our pain. 🙌  We can do all things through Him!

Matt. 27:12~When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer.

Psalm 34:18~The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Hebrews 11:1~Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

John 16:33~”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 8:1-2Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Phil.4:19~And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:31~What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Matt.11:29~Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Unwelcome Cross

A court ordered mandate enforced the removal of a cross from the top of a Christmas tree in Indiana this week. The man that filed the lawsuit said it caused him “irreparable harm”. Just seeing the cross as he drove was a source of “unwelcome contact.” It was so unwelcome by him that he went through legal proceedings to have it removed. Imagine the harm Jesus actually endured on the cross for you, for me, and for the man insisting the cross be removed. Jesus is so gracious. His response to the man would be something like, “Father forgive him, for he knows not what he is doing.” He’s way more grace filled than I am. I can think of a lot more colorful, defensive, self-righteous responses. But, thank you Jesus for the Holy Spirit, which enables us to do what we can not do on our own strength. Often He helps us do and say nothing. Phew! Keeping our mouths closed takes divine intervention.😉

The thought of us “not knowing what we are doing” percolated through my mind as I considered the cross. My first thought was, Jesus how can you claim that we don’t know what we are doing? I mean seriously, did the Roman guards not know it was barbaric to beat you, whip you, hurl insults at you, while leading you to a torturous death on the cross? How could they not know??? How brainless did they have to be not to know that kind of behavior is wrong….even if you weren’t the Son of God? But you were…and they did. And Jesus, seriously, how can that man not know getting a court order to remove a small cross from a big tree is…wrong…and lame? Oh, but then the conviction set in. In the words of John Bradford, “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

The thing is, there was a time I was completely blinded to the truth….spiritually blind. I remember rolling my eyes at Christian friends as a teen; laughing at their pursuit of this unknown God. The cross carried no value for me until I met Jesus. In fact, I was agitated by it and felt antagonist toward it…though there was no rational explanation for my feelings. I truly did not know what I was doing.

Even while walking with Jesus, I’ve gotten lost along the journey, and needed Him to set me back on track. I get uncomfortable with the cross too, like the man in the article. It confronts my own behavior, selfishness, judgements and offenses. So much about the cross makes me uncomfortable, but the Bible says to pick up our crosses and follow Him.

When we carry our crosses, we can’t carry much else. There was so much love demonstrated on His cross, such selflessness. At times I’m so overwhelmed by His love that I’m eager to pick mine up. Other days, I’m ashamed to admit, I’d rather remove the cross from the tree, so I can focus on how offended I feel, how wrong someone else is, and throw myself a little pity party. Yet, Jesus so willingly gave it all for me and you, that there isn’t room for petty offenses, grudges, or self-righteous behavior in light of His love. Though my humanness tries to persuade me to speak out, get angry, push back when offended, I can lay the offense down knowing He called me to a different way of living; to carry my cross.

How do you handle the offenses of others? It’s going to happen, a lot, especially this time of year. Christmas can bring about lots of expectations while visiting with family; fuel for big offenses to occur. We have in our minds how things should be, people should speak and behave. Here’s what I know for sure; an offense + a defense = a relational train wreck. If we choose to get defensive and offended by every offense we encounter, we are headed to a very un-merry Christmas.

Our closest friends and family can often feel like our biggest offenders, since their opinions tend to carry greater value than strangers or acquaintances. Great expectations can leave us feeling greatly offended. We expect that they are going to speak and behave differently than last year, but they don’t. We expect they will offer concern, care, or even just a little kindness to us, wrong again. We expect everyone will get along, enjoying all the food and festivities, much of which took weeks to prepare, but that awkward tension remains….it’s like cutting through caramel, only not as sweet. 😬

I’ve felt offended and unknowingly have offended family and friends more times than can be remembered. Unfortunately, I have a pretty good memory, so offenses can often be churned again and again in my mind, leaving a curdled mess in my heart. Nothing good comes from sour thinking.

Jesus set an amazing example for us when it comes to feeling offended. He laid down his life for us while we were still sinners. Think about how offended and defensive He could have been. He was perfect, and yet constantly accused. He offended people by loving them, healing them, working on his day off, caring for the marginalized in society, waiting on His Father’s timing, and claiming to be who He was….God. The gossip train was out of control when Jesus walked the earth, and yet, Jesus refused to hop on. He did not get defensive, wasting energy on what wouldn’t change. He stayed on course; headed toward His Father’s will; a pain filled, arduous journey that no one else could endure. His love fueled that train which lead to His death as He welcomed the cross.

Are you prepared for the possible “unwelcome contact” you might have with family over the next couple of weeks? Will you collide with your offenders, offering up defenses, finding flaw in them, hurling insults, withdrawing emotionally, or starting your own gossip train? There’s a better way. Offer grace, offer forgiveness, offer Jesus in those moments. It will keep you on track and you will be blessed beyond the circumstance by remaining close to the conductor of your soul. You’re bound to have moments of feeling offended this Christmas…just remember the cross atop of the tree. He is why we celebrate. Let Him be why you forgive, offer grace, and understanding. The offense is just a blip on your travel plans. Offer your loved ones the greatest gift, His unconditional love. They don’t need your stuff, wrapped in pretty packaging. They need His grace and if you know Him, you have it to give. Let’s carry our crosses into Christmas. You can do all things through Him!

Luke 23:34~Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Matt. 16:24~Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
1Peter 4:8~Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Proverbs 19:11~Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Wrong Rights

I LOVE peanut M&M’s. They bring delight to my tastebuds and they are colorful morsels of happiness. On a bad day, like tax preparation day, I have my yellow bag on standby.😉 Now, I know they are not good for me. In fact, there have been articles written about the health hazards of eating to many. Occasionally, I have justified my indulgence by thinking, well, they have peanuts in them, and that’s a protein. Since protein is good for me, I can eat what I want. You could say, it is my right to eat peanut M&M’s, all day, every day, should I choose to.

The interesting thing about “rights” is they can be so very wrong. My body would revolt after awhile, if I chose only to partake in my little round, happy, chocolates. While they do contain  protein, they also have lots of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce; some of which have been linked to cancer.😳 I’ve considered laying down my rights to M&M’s altogether because of the health risks, but I’m a work in progress. 😉

In recent news and social media I have heard a lot about “rights”; women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, African American rights, rights to guns, rights of free speech, rights to protest….the list goes on and on. Many of my Christian friends have participated in discussions about “rights”, which has caused me to pray and seek Jesus and His perspective.

In reality, there is a peanut of truth to the discussions about rights.  These discussions are labeled as rights, but I think the desire behind the dialogue is more about value.  Do we all have equal value?  The answer is a resounding YES.  Jesus is about equality of all people as evidenced in scripture, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”(Gal.3:28) Incidentally, this scripture isn’t absolving gender identity or the fact that we are born of different cultures.  Rather, it is demonstrating that every life has equal worth, through Christ Jesus.  He is the great equalizer.  We don’t need anyone else to tell us we are valued in order for it to be true…it’s true because Jesus says so. No person or circumstance can lessen our value.  Period.

Jesus also points out our equal need for a Savior.  He openly admitted we all fall short of God’s glory and are in desperate need of His grace and forgiveness. Every person, including Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, need Him.  Though they have differing views on political policies, they both equally need grace and forgiveness.

Honest dialogue about perceived inequality can be good and healing.  However, there seems to be more behind some of the social media discussions of “rights”; ingredients that are unhealthy for the soul.  There is an angry tone, a loathing, a disgust, an entitlement simmering that is damaging.  There is one who comes to kill and steal away our joy…we have a real enemy, and it isn’t each other.

As a Jesus follower, it is my right and privilege, to lay my life down, pick up my cross and follow Jesus; loving God and loving people.  His ways are often different than popular opinion…especially those displayed in the media.  The news and much of social media has been offering up a lot of spiritual junk food.  It’s of little value and we should be careful about absorbing to much of it.  Allowing ourselves to get caught up in angry finger pointing, is like eating to many M&M’s….it tastes good in the moment but makes you feel awful after. There is no value to it, since it solves nothing, just fans the flames of anger and hostility.

Brothers and sisters of the faith, remember we no longer fight for our rights, but for God’s. We no longer live for us, but for Him and His plans. What ‘right’ do we have to anything?  Is it possible for us to feel entitled to anything more  when God has given us everything in Him? If anyone could have felt entitled, it should have been Jesus.  Being the only perfect person to ever walk the earth, He had that right, but He waved His rights, out of His great love for us. Such humility and grace, I can hardly take it in.

I don’t even have the right to my next breath, unless He gives it to me.  There is no guarantee of tomorrow, or even 10 minutes from now.  Every moment we have on this lovely earth is a gift given from our Father above.  Rather than investing our limited time on endless discussions about ‘rights’, what if we savored each moment, appreciating the people placed in our lives and enjoying our blessings?

Jesus is our model for living and He didn’t debate much, and rarely got angry; leading me to believe we get into the wrong kinds of discussions.  As Jesus followers we need  to be careful that our pride doesn’t swell, leading us to have an unhealthy perspective of “rights” and entitlement.  We ought to get on our knees in prayer, seek Him and maintain a posture of surrender to His will.  We are living  in times that  will challenge our faith like never before.  Be leery of your own feelings which can lead to emotional outbursts; laying down your cross, and hurling stones at one another. Pick up your cross, and follow in His footsteps. He reached out to people in love, humility, grace and truth. If people throw stones at you for expressing love, in truth, He will be your shield and protector. Don’t be discouraged or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you. Keep looking in the mirror and asking God how you can be the best YOU for Jesus, then be the change you hope to see in the world.    We are shining His light, and the enemy would love to snuff us out, giving the impression we are outdated and irrelevant. Don’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy.

Lets choose a healthier diet of “rights” by  loving tirelessly, giving generously, and letting  grace abound. Filter through the spiritually sick ingredients that are being force fed to us through news and social media, and check those ingredients with His word. If the ingredients don’t match scripture, don’t eat them! Throw them out and stand firm in His truth. Don’t look for a loophole, absorbing what is bad for your soul. Accepting what is popular and ‘feels good’ can be the path of least resistance, but there is NO growth in that. It’s just a diet of peanut M&M’s; slowly malnourishing our spiritual health.  Pretty soon, all the absorbed loopholes we’ve ingested cause our lights to dim, and we are no longer distinguishable to the world around us.  Jesus stood out in a crowd.

We will all be accountable for what we did with Jesus. He laid down His very life for each of us….there is no greater love than His. No politician, no civil rights groups, no protestors, no sports figures, no celebrities, no peanut M&M’s will satisfy the hunger we have for true love, value, and justice. Jesus gives it freely and fully.  He hands out healthy love by the bucketfuls, if we are open to receiving it. Recieve the free gift of His love daily and then give it out to those around you.  Don’t get sidetracked by discussions meant to keep you on a merry-go-round to nowhere.  Grab His hand And walk with Him, even though you will stand out and may get insulted or even assaulted. You no longer live for yourself, you live for Him. You can do ALL things through Him! 🙏

John 15:13~Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Gal 2:20~I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Luke 9:23~Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Isaiah 41:40~So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Grace Exchange

“But you just seem so perfect.” Had she actually just said that to me through her tears of inadequate feelings and conviction? If it wasn’t so serious, I would have laughed out loud! Me…perfect? The thought was ludicrous, an illusion that many have of Pastors and their wives. It couldn’t be further from the truth. The myth is that we “have it all together”, that we are immune to the pull of this world, the trials and strife. We. Are. Human. My heart felt broken in that office as I listened to the dark assumptions and gossip that had been lurking in quiet corners and living rooms. Apparently, in my presumed perfection, there was a need to find flaws, which turned out to be easy. (Jesus had the same experience with people, only He WAS perfect.) This person assumed that, and that person assumed this, and by the time I was alerted of rumors, it was a distorted mess. As I listened beyond the words, I heard something deeper, pain. Pain in my friends heart from her own past. In those moments I listened beyond my own wounded heart and heard her brokenness, and I offered comfort and understanding, grace. This grace was not of my own doing. The more I encounter God’s grace, the more I can give it…and in those moments while being accused, I did what I could not do on my own strength, I exchanged grace for accusation. Grace was followed with truth, since the Truth sets us free. She needed to be set free from the assumptions that had bound her.

To be honest, in the days and weeks that followed, I would wrestle with the seeming injustice of those moments. How could I be accused of such things? Who does she/they think I am? There was SO much I could have said! Why didn’t I say…..(Insert lots of inner dialogue). But, i refused to act upon my inner bear(pride). In those moments of wanting my “pound of flesh”, I turned to Jesus and found comfort, validation, and strength to carry on by His grace…because, He is for me, and if He is for me, who can be against me? It would be dishonest to say this process was easy. It seemed I cried an ocean of tears in the aftermath. This was one of the hardest experiences I’ve dealt with in my 23 years of ministry, but we can either get stronger through our struggles, or we can cave to our human urges, repeating patterns and getting no where. I can certainly bench press more now…well, at least spiritually speaking.😉

Are you feeling wounded and misunderstood by someone? We all go through it. Ask God to help you listen beyond your own feelings. Can you exchange grace for their accusations? Are you taking your hurt to Jesus or are you releasing the bear(pride)? Don’t be held captive by other people’s actions or words. Be set free as you set others free by God’s empowering grace. He will heal your broken heart and He will bring justice in His timing and in His way. We can do ALL things through Him. Are you listening?

John 8:36-If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Romans 8:31-What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
James 1:19-My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

Broken Doorframes(pt.2)-Grace Repairs

God’s forgiveness was easily accessable after my emotional outburst. The challenge was in forgiving myself, but I could feel the pursuit of my loving Father. He has a way of drawing us in if we are listening. The only bummer, His grace couldn’t repair our door.😬 With each entrance and exit from our room I was reminded of my embarrassment. Sin is like that. We have to deal with the consequences of our actions. Sin always leaves an undesired mark in our lives and often, on the lives of our loved ones. As it turns out my parents were do for a visit, staying with us for a week. My Dad is a Mr.Fix-It of sorts, so the thought occurred to me that he would be able to fix the doorframe…but, how embarrassing! That would require telling my Dad about “the incident”. My sensible side won out, or actually, my thrifty side won out…who wants to pay for a door repair?😉 Shortly after he arrived I shared vaguely about what I had done. Thoughts of guilt and shame pummeled my mind as I explained the needed repair. His response left me speechless…in fact, it still brings tears to my eyes. His words were simple…”Sure, I can fix that, and you’ll never know it was there.” No eye rolls, no ridiculing, no shaming, no sarcasm, no questions or gasps of disbelief at what I had done….just GRACE. My insides relaxed and God began His grace repair as I breathed in relief. Dad will never know the depth to which he comforted my soul. In that moment he offered what God the Father offers all of us every single day, unconditional love and grace.

Are you having a difficult time forgiving yourself for something you’ve done? His grace is right there, grab ahold of it and let Him repair the marks that have been left. When you invite Jesus into those fractured places, He will restore your life so that sin will no longer be visible, in fact, it will be gone…just like my broken doorframe. It doesn’t make logical sense to us, this kind of grace for it isn’t of this world. Our human inclination when we feel offended by someone is to opt for what comes easily, attack, flee, gossip, finger point, withdraw, get even….none of those bring healing to us or to our offenders. There is a better way, one that I hope to offer my offenders the next time it is necessary…extend His grace, which He has lavished upon us, because…grace repairs.

2Cor.12:9~But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
John 8:11-“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.
1Pet.4:8-Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.