Tuesday, February 12, 2008

GRACE

One of my favorite bands has a song entitled, "Grace."  The leader has done much to remind American Protestants that God's grace needs to be shown to African AIDS victims.  See CBS article, Bono and the Christian Right, July 30, 2006.  Is he a believer?  Check out Worldwide Faith New's article from 2002, "U2's Bono launches AIDS awareness tour from church," or my favorite article on Bono, "Salty dogma," from World Magazine.  Unfortunately, you have to pay to read the entire article.

Tonight, I responded to a former student's email.  He is struggling.  What does he need from me?  Sure, he needs truth.  But he knows most of the truth that applies to his particular struggle.

What do I want when I consider my relatively simple struggles?  I, too, pretty much know the truth that applies to mine.  

I want "something."  Sure, a kick in the pants sometimes.  Sometimes, a listening ear, a gentle word.  Sometimes, I want what I deserve.  Sometimes, I want what I don't deserve. (There's grace.)  But more importantly, I want to be certain that all the "somethings" are for my good.  If it's not for my good, I don't want the kick in the pants, or even the gentle word.

Scripture endlessly mentions grace.  My favorite: "The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people..." Titus 2:11.  

I'm glad Bono ends his song the way he does.  It reminds of how God deals with us:

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

7 comments:

Lis said...

It can be tricky to know what to say in those situations. I think hearing the truth, even when we already know it, can be very helpful. Also, asking "What is keeping me from obeying this truth that I know so well?" can be helpful.

Joel said...

Very true. There is always something keeping us from obeying the truth.

I spoke truth very clearly to this young man. He knows my position. He acknowledged my position. Now, to show that Christ is all joy for those who trust Him and that the God of the universe has forgiven me.

Anonymous said...

How about a little "Pull your head out of your ass and get on with life!"? I think the truth only goes so far and there's a place for just soldiering on.
By the way, update!
Guess who?

Joel said...

I'm so glad you swore on my blog. It needs a little salty dogma.

If one "soldiers on" down the wrong path, then the soldiering on is foolish, not honorable. Don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Possibly, but it's also how we learn. I just think sometimes people get stuck and just need a butt kicking to move on. Plus, don't you ever think Jesus might get sick of whiners? There must be a Bible verse somewhere..."and Jesus looked down at the world and thought 'Oh my land, I know they're created in Dad's image, but geez, the whining makes me nuts!'"

Joel said...

Butt kicking is a great learning tool. God is the creator of butt-kicking for the sake of learning. Stephen spoke of it in his speech that got him killed. Acts 7.

And you know that old question about why God killed so many people in the Old Testament?...He would kick the Hebrew's "butt." They would learn their lesson. Then they would forget. He would kick. Repeat.

Emma said...

Hey dad!
wow, interesting conversation!
are you going to put my blog link on your blog? you can....
U2 never gets old! is "Grace" a new song?