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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday message- keeping count

3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  (Luke 17)

Once upon a time, there was a man who had a problem with cursing in the heat of battle.  It usually didn't take much more than a minor irritation- a pen dropped, a special order, a material problem.  He paid it little mind, despite the exhortations of James of what comes out of the mouth:

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (James 3)

One day, the boss proclaimed that the language on the shop floor was too "salty".  He threatened to set out a "cuss jar."  And the man knew it would be a good thing for him to break this bad habit and negative witness.  So he prayed about it, "putting it in God's hands" to break the habit.  And he kept score, because that is how he dealt with things he felt he was failing at:  Put up a scoreboard to watch for improvement.

But the first day of this new resolve went badly.  Things kept happening.  Glitches, lost parts.  He even cursed over cursing at things.  He promised he would try anew to put it in God's hands.  And the second day was more of a disaster than the first.

Things that always happened, happened.  Things that never happened, happened.  And as the second morning wore on, he could almost sense the presence of mischievous, maleficent demons putting every little nagging stumbling block in his way they could think of.  And the man called out to God, asking why He would allow such testing in the midst of an honest effort to do what was right.

And God pointed out a few things.  First, He pointed out that the scoreboard was keeping track of the man's achievement- hence, negating his "putting it in God's hands."

Second, He pointed out that all the scoreboard was- all his scoreboards ever amounted to- was a tool for Satan to use, to show the man what a failure he was.

But the man had always used scoreboards.  How else was he to know if he did well or not?

And God said, "You don't need a scoreboard.  I don't keep a scoreboard.  Not since My Son died to erase it."

To put it in God's hands meant he would have to take his scoreboards down.  After all, it wasn't about what the man could do- it was about what God would do.  And he reminded the man about the verse above from Luke.  And the man smiled.  And he shut down the scoreboard, and changed his prayer from changing his outside to changing his inside. And to remember that living a life like Christ isn't about "I don'ts", but about "I dos".

And then, something so annoying, so stupid, so frustrating happened, and the man cursed.  And God said, "Not keeping score."  And the man submitted it to Jesus for forgiveness.

Because if God can expect us to forgive over and over, will He do any less?


  1. I love this.

    (Not that you're keeping score or anything.)

    1. I'd have loved it more without living through it... oops, did I say that?

  2. Yes yes yes is all I am going to say