Why do we need grace?
“No one is good except God alone“. Luke 18:19
But what about……?
Let me put it this way. Let’s draw a circle. Inside that circle write “God”. Now title the circle “Everyone who is good”. Now title the space outside the circle “Everyone who is not good”. In that space write “Everyone else”.
Get the picture?
A couple of months ago, social media was been filled with people, mostly women, simply posting two words; “Me too,” a simple yet profound admission that in some way they have been victims of sexual abuse or harassment. Along with these admissions have come realizations from men of the ways we have either participated or have been complicit in this victimization. Over the past year or so we have also become familiar with the phrases “black lives matter,” “white privilege,” and “white supremacy.” We have been made aware of the problems of bullying, other forms of racism, gender inequality, sexual discrimination, human trafficking, unfair labor practices and a score of other social injustices. It seems that we are not very nice to one another.
The point is that on some, if not multiple levels, in some, if not multiple ways every one of us has been and may currently be guilty of not being good to someone or multiple some-ones.
Why is this a shock?
Why is this so hard to admit?
Because we want to think of ourselves as good people.
But, we simply are not. As much as humanism has tried to convince us that we are by nature good, and that given the right opportunity we will become even better people reality argues otherwise. Our nature in fact flows in the opposite direction. Bullying, harassment and insensitivity are vicious activities on playgrounds. Born into privilege we naturally embrace supremacy. The proof of this is tweeting into our feed every day if we still can’t see it in the mirror.
Admission is the first step to recovery. Yes, IF we are willing to admit the depth of our depravity. If we as individuals and as a society are only willing to go as far as “Well I guess I have a little problem.” then a little whitewash will easily cover that up again. Only when we as individuals and as a society become fully aware of what God has known all along, that no one is good except God alone can we begin the process of reconciliation.
I am not a good person. I am by nature the very opposite. But God is good, and if I let Him he can make me better. It begins with that confession and with this;
I am sorry. I am truly sorry for all of the times I have participated in or have been complicit to abuse, insensitivity and injustice. I don’t want to be that way, but I have been, and in too many ways still am. But God is not finished with me yet.
Father forgive me my debts (shortfalls) as I forgive my debtors (the shortfalls of others).
Major Bill Dunigan
After 32 years doing urban ministry for the Salvation Army ,Major Bill Dunigan is currently serving at the Eastern Territorial Headquarters as the Officer for integrated mission. He is a Jesus freak and disciple maker who loves the diversity of the Body of Christ, A country boy who loves the city, loves adventure and anything outdoors. He is a warrior for justice but also a firm believer that love trumps justice.