Three Things YOU Can't Do

There are three things you can’t do. Fully comprehend the damage you’ve done. Stop from creating more. And make things right. The process of seeing these truths leads to the most important revelation, God’s grace.

The first thing you’re not able to do is fully comprehend the damage you’ve done. As you live, there’s a moral gap. It’s the distance between what you should have done and what happened. The ideal is to put the desires of others first and serve them accordingly. But your preference is to prioritize your wishes and have others serve you. That’s your inherent nature.

When you practice “me-first”, a wave of shrapnel radiates from you. It causes offense and suffering to those within its blast. You see some of the damage, but the majority is privately absorbed by others. If it weren’t for some self-inflicted harm from the explosion, or that caused by another to you, you would never give its severity thought. 

Measure your behavior and actions with the words of Jesus, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Have you loved your friends and enemies to the point of dying for them? No. That is the gap in which you’re guilty. And only by God’s revelation do you more clearly realize it.

Even more disappointing is your inability to stop. No matter how hard you try, you continue to disappoint yourself and others. Even Jesus’ apostle Paul said, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”

You become more you aware of your short-comings the harder you try. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pastor of 50 years or a drunk in an alley. Only with hard-fought efforts do you recognize your weakness. This, too, is God’s revelation. 

Lastly, you lack the means to repay your debts. If you can’t go through today without causing hurt, how are you going to produce excess goodness to pay for the past? It’s also unlikely that shrapnel-torn lives are made new. The damage is done.

God shows you, 1) the gap, 2) your inability to bridge it, and 3) your bankruptcy in paying for it. Seeing these truths causes you to drop to your knees and cry for mercy. “God help me.” At the point of your emptiness, He shows you His grace.

Your desperation and helplessness open you to the first meaningful glimmer of His forgiveness and acceptance. You change your outlook and an inkling of winning the cosmic lotto takes a foothold. This is a bolus injection for some, and others grasp it slowly with years of i.v. drip.

As a lotto winner, you have no room for pride since you did nothing to achieve it. God orchestrated and executed it. And because you did nothing, you are humbled. But more than that, you’re assured. The work of God is all powerful and complete. You’re at peace knowing your salvation is His work, not yours.

It’s a shame so many Christians wonder if they’ve done enough to be saved. They ponder the number of prayers they prayed, offerings they’ve made, and volunteering they’ve done. And the whole time they’re asking the wrong question. They should ask, did God do enough? Is He big enough to save me? The answer is, of course, He is!

2 Tim 1:9 “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”

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