I was challenged last night as I heard a message about one type of sin and how the Church and Christians tend to focus on one area of sin while completely ignoring or giving a pass to others. The point was that God sees it all and doesn't count one worse than another and that His lovingkindness brought salvation and redemption to ALL through His son, Jesus Christ. The blood covered all - even the sins you don't understand or that offend you the most.
Then this morning I heard Chuck Swindoll say that many churches and Christians are now offended by that saving blood. That they feel Christianity shouldn't be about "butchering" so let's just leave that blood part out. I don't know about you, but when I have wronged someone I know I need to make it right or make restitution. I want and desire the same thing when I have been wronged. Some cultures called for "an eye for an eye" but God said, "No, I have a better way because you could never pay each other or Me back enough. I'll send my Son to be the repayment for what you do wrong to others and Me. Just rely on Him and follow Him and we're good." So simple. Such amazing grace.
But we complicate things. We as a Church decide that we must continue to be judge and jury. We decide who gets grace and who doesn't. We decide the chronic alcoholic or the mentally ill get a free pass but the struggling family does not. We decide the drug addicted dad should get prayer but the adulterous one doesn't. Over and over we are inconsistent with our message and then we wonder why no one wanders into our churches and many run out.
It's so interesting how quickly we meditate on the dos and don'ts and shoulds and shouldn'ts instead of the John 3:16s or the 2 Peter 3:9s. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
When I meditate there - when I stop and reconsider God's heart toward all and every man and woman is to have them close to Him I stop being selective about offering grace and I start focusing on the amazing grace. I remember who I once was and that my failures and messes were and are no different than anyone else's.