Sometimes it seems like there is nothing worse than making the same mistake more than once. Especially when I’m on the other side of a mistake–being the one needing to exercise more patience than I would like for the sake of loving the offending sinner.
But, I think my real problem here is not impatience or even a penchant to be disgruntled, but a case of spiritual amnesia. I have poor memory–there’s no other explanation. Surely if I had a good one, I would be full of grace. Thus, no grace, no memory. And to reverse that: No memory, no grace.
You see, I have a problem with exhibiting a good memory because I have a problem seeing grace–I can’t keep in mind what I don’t regularly see.
If grace was shown to me once a long time ago and it didn’t have on-going affects, then maybe it would be okay to forget it. But since grace is the blanket over me every day, I have no excuse. I’m obviously lifting up the blanket and peaking out–perhaps even throwing it back completely and forgetting my need to be covered.
And, if I’m not allowing myself to be completely and constantly covered with grace that is visible to me, how can I see grace as a reality that should apply to you too? Rather, I will resent you because you remind me of my need for grace and how little I’m seeing it (i.e. how little I’m wanting it).
I must want grace. Seeing my sin and my powerlessness to confront and eradicate it makes me want grace. Receiving grace makes me aware that there is a power at work over me and in me that I cannot personally account for. It does not deliver up glory from me, but lovingly bestows it on me. If I am aware of this, I can quit expecting you to be delivering up glory from yourself and allow God to lovingly bestow it on you through me. And, regardless of whether your consistent mistakes make me discouraged at your power to change, I trust God that He is the power that must both make you whole and me at peace with you.