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Monday, February 5, 2018

Ugly responses are not the end, but the beginning

1969 was the year that the motion picture The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was released. In that sentence, we can see how ‘ugly’ is worse than bad. It is not about the appearance; in this context it’s deeper than that.
Sin is ugly. Let’s face it. Let’s call it for what it is. And it’s everywhere. Especially in our homes. I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that it happens in your home, and in mine.
Indeed, it happened again recently, where annoyance and frustration boiled over in one person’s situation causing stress in another’s, sufficient that a fuse blew. No long-term damage done, but it was far from an ideal response. In another situation, on the same day, one person’s fun in joking around, and their lack of regard for another, left the other feeling hurt. Okay, children were involved, but neither are adults always rational. I know I’m not.
But these moments were reconciled. As a family we agreed to make our heartfelt apologies, embrace each other again, and endeavour to make some changes.
Sin is not the end of the story. It cannot ever afford to be. Indeed, as Christ’s death on the cross portrays, sin is only the beginning. There is a response that can be made. Christ’s crucifixion was the forerunner to His resurrection. Had Jesus not died He would never have been brought back to life.
Our sin is not the end of the story, neither is our guilt nor our shame. We feel ugly within ourselves regarding our sin, but there is always a way to reconcile unsavoury matters.
That is to be honest. That is to be courageous. That is to pay the price of restitution. That is to take responsibility and make it right. That’s the gospel way. Christ took responsibility for that which we could never pay. All so we could enjoy this connection with the Father that we all have the luxury to spurn.
As conflict is the basis on which all interesting stories run, it is part of our lives to enrich us. Our opportunity is to embrace it and do what we can to redeem our relationships. Conflict doesn’t exist in our lives to destroy us or to keep us at a distance from each other — it exists for the purposes of recovery.
Relationships cannot improve in trustworthiness until conflict is met, negotiated and overcome.
Sin, whilst we should never glory in it, actually facilitates redemptive solutions.

When you sin, be encouraged that it’s not the end. It heralds the opportunity of redemption. Run with the feet of forgiveness.

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