Posts Tagged "sin"

Pieces

Pieces

My mother gave me a special coffee cup for my birthday years ago that had a handle shaped like two open hearts. Over the years I’ve received many gifts with that emblem because of my Valentine birthday. But I treasured it because it was from her and was decorated with my favorite design—hearts. Several years later, I made coffee and searched for it, but couldn’t find it. I asked my husband who said he had no idea where it was. A few days later, while sweeping the kitchen, the broom flicked a fragment of the handle from beneath the edge of the cabinet. I picked it up and set it on the counter. When he came home, I showed it to him. Sheepishly, he admitted he’d dropped it and disposed of the evidence, hoping I wouldn’t notice. Unimportant to him, irreplaceable to me. In a similar way careless acts and critical words shatter heart bonds. In the moment of offense, the wounded person might appear uninjured, leaving the offender oblivious. Once the two go their ways the pain pushes to the surface, ruining established trust. Left unrepaired, the relationship might end up discarded. Although I love to encourage people, sometimes I’ve blown it and said stupid, hurtful things. The New Testament says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When I blow it, I clarify my offense, admit it and attempt to make amends. When I detected a rift in a friendship, I try to repair it, following his example. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. What do you...

read more

Do You Trust the Glue?

Do You Trust the Glue?

If you break a special piece of pottery, like your favorite coffee cup, consider Super Glue. One afternoon, I basked in sunshine on the patio, talking on the phone to a friend and munching on apple slices in my favorite bowl. I wouldn’t have had a problem if I’d been inside where there’s carpeting, but with one awkward move of my hand, the bowl slid off of the wide chair arm and fell to the concrete. Why did I think sitting outside was a good idea? Immediately I blamed the weather and my choice of where to relax, defaulting to the blame game, the oldest strategy in the world. I collected, cleaned, and then carefully glued the pieces back together. Examining my handiwork, I decided it was almost as good as new—except for the visible lines on every side. Likewise, sin breaks us into pieces. Sometimes we fail and at other times people wound us. Yet God can be trusted to take our brokenness and mend our lives. Like the noticeable repairs I made, we retain scars from sin which remind us of our failing and his work. I still use that bowl, but rarely for hot liquid, because my glue job isn’t as reliable as God’s restoration work. I trust my repair under mild conditions, but avoid exposure to heat. When people fracture me, I look to God for answers and help. Paul writes, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” It would please our adversary if our fractures worsened leading to devastation. When I’m wounded, my first reaction is withdrawal for self-preservation, an unreliable adhesive. Leary of potential attacks, I recall that the saying, “Once burned, twice shy,” comes from experience. Yet, because the Lord forgives and restores me, I remind myself to do the same. Whose glue do you...

read more