It happens all the time to people who talk in front of people.
You mess up. Your tongue gets twisted or tangled. You get a word or two confused. You say the wrong word at the wrong time.
And one day it happened to a dear friend of mine. He was leading the church in a time of prayer and he just messed up a couple of words.
No big deal –at least to me and the rest of the church.
But it was a big deal to my friend who walked stright up to me after the assembly. “Take my name off the list of those willing to say prayers. I messed up, I am not going to do that again.”
And he didn’t do that again. Ever.
I have not forgotten my friend and his decision. This whole event has haunted me for years. It haunts me not because we didn’t have plenty of people to step up and replace this brother on “the list.” But because of what I think this whole thing revealed about my friend’s faith and view of God.
He was a very progressive thinker who was in his 60’s. He understood it was impossible to earn your salvation. He understood salvation was by grace. In fact, he would have been offended if anyone suggested he was not “grace-oriented.” And rightly so, because he was all about grace.
What troubles me is that by his “giving up” my brother revealed that he had no place for grace and forgiveness in his life. He was still demanding perfection from himself. He may have understood he was saved by grace, but I am not sure he grasped living by grace.
I am not sure I do.
I wonder how many times we fail to take risks or make a bold or courageous moves because we fear failure. And I wonder if that fear of failure might reveal that we are operating under a need for perfection.
Thank you for saving us by Your grace.
Help us to live by Your grace.
In Jesus’ name,