My two older boys are the best of friends and the worst of enemies, all in the same minute. When I get dragged in to adjudicate a dispute it’s hard to work out what really happened as both are passionately blaming the other. “He threw this toy at me.” “But he kicked my lego and broke it!” I’ve resorted to, “If you can’t work it out then you are both in trouble.” Just as bad (and good) as each other.
It’s in our nature to point our fingers and present ourselves in the best possible light, isn’t it? Maybe even skew the truth in our favour. Not lie… but skew. Taken to its extreme, this type of behaviour leads to the world being wrong and I the victim. It’s the government, the economy, the people at work, my wife even, but not me!
Perhaps there is some truth in the finger pointing. But there is no point pointing a finger at things we can’t control and ignoring what we can control. Here is where some self-awareness comes in handy – digging deep to consider what’s wrong with us and how our circumstances, especially our negative ones, are impacted by our behaviour. Now stay in this zone a little while and you might find out that we are not perfect! Spoiler alert! Everyone around you already knew that… stay in there long enough and our failure in life may crush us.
It’s at this point where the biblical idea of grace makes sense. It’s in acknowledging our inability to live up to standards, our own or someone else’s. It’s at this point that we appreciate unconditional love and acceptance. If we believe we are entitled to it then it’s not grace. We never experience this if we don’t stop long enough from pointing fingers. The gospel is simple. We don’t live up to the required standard but that has been taken care of by Jesus. The gift of God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV