Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Second Chances...Not Guaranteed

Photo Credit: Dew Photography

Did you know that second chances from God are not guaranteed? This week while reading "Surprised by Grace" by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian this is exactly what I learned. Pull out your Scriptures and it can be seen where second chances did not happen. A prime example is Ananias & Sapphira. It is funny how God reminds us of these things. Even though I wrote about Ananias & Sapphira on this blog back in April, it was like a "DUH!" moment when I read they did not get a second chance from God. 

We always point to Jonah and state, "God is a God of second chances." Yet, the problem is we our living with an attitude of "we deserve and are guaranteed second chances." Would we live our lives more obediently if we understood second chances are not guaranteed? Is it just me or does it depress you that second chances are not guaranteed? Personally, I blow it often and am grateful for when given second, third and at times fourth chances to get it right. 

 Delayed obedience is disobedience. This is a truth that I have heard and even have taught many times. I propose this includes our attitude. When we begrudgingly complete a task with the wrong attitude it is an act of disobedience. 

When our daughter was younger and she was asked to clean her room. She could have two responses: 1) go and clean her room as requested or 2) storm off to her room end clean it with a great commotion of stomping and slamming as she cleaned.  

Photo Credit: 1234RF


In our household, our daughter would be disciplined for response #2 even though the room was cleaned. Why? Because of her attitude. 

I was questioned about this concept of disobedience recently. Someone gave me the following example: She had been invited to do something she knew God would say no to if she took it to Him. She felt that even though she didn't participate her attitude was not the greatest while she abstained from the activity. The question: Was this disobedience because of her "not right" attitude while abstaining?

While pondering this Sister in Christ's question and reading "Suprised by Grace," God has opened a new realm of thought for me on the concept of His grace:

 even though "delayed obedience is still disobedience at first, it can be replaced by true obedience, through God's relentless mercy and grace" (Tchividjian, pg 85).  

I propose, this is the same concept when the disobedience is based on our attitude. Just reword the statement, "A bad attitude is still disobedience at first, however it can be replaced by true obedience, through God's relentless mercy and grace."

Thank you Lord for your relentless mercy and grace!

After pondering, here is my thought:

Maybe at times we start out doing the 'right thing' because we know it is the 'right thing' even with a 'not so right' attitude. Yet, as we continue our walk with Christ and through God' transforming grace become more like Christ, what starts out as "disobedience at first is replaced by true obedience."  

There is one more side to the proverbial coin we need to acknowledge... there are consequences for disobedience. Jonah sat in the belly of a big fish. Even when we have sorrow for our disobedience there will be consequences. As we come to terms with the facts, second chances are not guaranteed and disobedience has consequences one could get depressed and want to give up.

Be encouraged dear Sisters. Yes it is true, we will stumble. We will have times of blowing it. But we have an intermediator who has accepted full responsibility for all of our sin.

His name is Jesus. 

Have you blown it this week? Lost your temper? Hollered at your spouse? Bad attitude? Screamed at your children? Been just plain ugly to everyone?

Run to Jesus ask His forgiveness. Then thank Him for accepting full responsiblity and "living the life we couldn't live and dying the death we should have died," (Tchividjian, pg88).

3 comments:

  1. That's what I want to see in my life, obedience because of God's relentless grace and mercy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dawn, this (obedience) is precisely why I asked for prayer on my blog. Yes, I have been speaking/teaching/ministering for 20 years. Yes, I did meet with publishers at She Speaks last year. But, "old hat" ? I hope never. My flesh will tend to do the easiest, the thing with the least resistence. God says different. I need and desire prayer for protection from the enemy, for fresh revelation from God, and for the willingness to obey no matter what He asks!
    Thanks for praying for me. I will be praying for you as well. Without prayer, our efforts are futile!

    ReplyDelete

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In Christ,
Dawn
dawn.whitmore@comcast.net

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