“Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace. Every day of our Christian experience should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His grace alone.”- Jerry Bridges, The Discipline of Grace
“Staying vulnerable is the risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”- Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.”- Romans 5:8 (NIV)
In Chapter 8 (“People of the Second Chance”) of Please Sorry Thanks, Mark Batterson observes that we all have a lot of layers. Like Russian nesting dolls. But if you stand in judgment, don’t expect people to reveal their hidden identities or secret securities. As a result, the pretense stymies you.
However, letting down your guard gives people the freedom to reveal who they really are. Hence, when you combine radical vulnerability and holy curiosity, it adds up to supernatural empathy.
Most significantly, Pastor Batterson notes, when you meet someone new you only know them in real time. Like opening a book to a specific page and starting to read. Thus, you encounter the latest version of that person. But people are endlessly complicated.
Therefore, Mark exhorts, take time to listen to another’s story and ask questions. However, most people are far too busy to do that. Consequently, Pastor Batterson stresses, we end up:
- fighting rather than forgiving.
- canceling rather than caring.
- judging rather than empathizing.
In conclusion, the author reiterates:
“When we’re at our worst, God is at His best. God loves us when we least expect it and least deserve it. He is the God who never gives up on us. He is the God of second and third and hundredth chances. Go thou and do likewise.”
Today’s question: Do you ever see youserlf as beyond the reach of God’s grace? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Secret sauce = grace + truth”