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Everyday Exceptions and Eternity’s Expectations

Everyday Exceptions and Eternity’s Expectations

Excuse me. Can you tell? Is there something in my eye?

No, it’s not a speck of sawdust. It’s much bigger than that. It’s probably a plank, or at least a big boo-boo. At the very least, it’s one more opportunity for me to learn firsthand about God’s unique flavor of grace.

"Why do you look
at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye
and pay no attention
to the plank in your own eye?”
(Luke 6:41, NIV)

Was it something I said?
How about an unspoken thought that should never have been thought?

Daily, I find myself in some sort of proverbial pickle or another, where I must stop and ask God (and maybe others) for grace.

Today, I stepped in it, so to speak, by 6:30 a.m. You don’t want to know the details, but it began with the realization of a lost pocketbook. (Yep, the errant handbag eventually turned up, so no lasting harm was done. Or was it?)

The mishap did offer me a chance to demonstrate apologies (What? Again?) to my own kids and a neighbor’s teen, who happened to pop up in my kitchen at that early hour on a weekday and see me in all of my non-glory.

Sometimes a simple “I’m sorry” teaches us much more than we might learn, had we’d never goofed. When we don’t try to bargain with God, making excuses and exceptions for errors, we open the door to apologies and restored relationships with Him.

Trust me. I’ve had a bit of practice.

“Watch and pray,
that ye enter not into temptation:
the spirit indeed is willing,
but the flesh is weak.”
(Matthew 26:42, KJV)

Who’s keeping track here, anyway?

Isn’t it curious how we may make exceptions for all sorts of missteps, particularly when others make them? But how do we measure ourselves when we step over the line somehow?

Sure, plenty of folks try to magnify the mess in others’ lives and minimize that in their own. We may attempt to fool ourselves and wink at our wrongdoings, as if they weren’t so bad, after all.

But how many of us elevate our expectations of ourselves to such unreachable heights that we can never even come close? Isn’t it easy to berate ourselves and build big piles of self-guilt over our all-too-frequent shortcomings?

OK, God’s standard is perfection. He is flawless and complete. To measure up, we would have to have spotless conduct, pure speech and ever-loving attitudes. And we can’t.

Ding! Game over!

We would all be losers, if He left us there. Some of us can jump really high or run super-fast. Others seem so successful in any number of ways. A few may meticulously mind their manners, their mouths and even their minds.

But none of us comes close – not by a country mile.

Thank God for the Savior! Every day, I thank Him for keeping His arms open to me, for not giving up on me, and for calling me back when I think I’ve stepped too far away. His love is greater still.

And He feels the same way about you!

“You were saved by faith in God,
who treats us much better
than we deserve.
This is God's gift to you,
and not anything you have done
on your own.
It isn't something you have earned,
so there is nothing you can brag about.”
(Ephesians 2:8-9, CEV)

Isn’t that what Advent, the coming of Emmanuel, is all about? What a gift, which we could never earn, but which we can freely accept.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus. We thank You for coming, and we welcome You.

Related Items:

Winking Doll – Public Domain – Wikipedia Commons Photos
Magi – Public Domain Clipart

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1 comment:

  1. Powerfully said Linda, because of the humility.

    So 'E' is the fifth letter...and today is the 8th. Your doubling up is now double-dy due!