Sometimes, I think the conversations regarding repentance, forgiveness, unconditional love, unmerited salvation, and life changes completely miss the point. They miss the point because I think that they are the kinds of conversations that are not true to life. The conversation usually seeks to reconcile God’s unconditional love that offers us gracious salvation and the gospel call to repentance and good works. Oftentimes, this conversation ends with something like God’s grace is what grants us salvation, and our actions are what demonstrates whether God’s salvation is actually in our hearts.
And I get it. I get that the theological nuances of faith and works need to be explained, but I think that rather than be intellectually explained, it’s just best to point to real life instances that demonstrate the truth of the gospel.
I listened to her pointed statement.
I sighed internally. I was so tired of making her angry and upset. I had been trying so hard for so long to be the individual that she needed me to be, but I just couldn’t. Worse, it felt like I had exhausted the potency of the apology. I knew that all I could really say back to her was, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it would hurt you that way.
But I had apologized so many times already—always appealing to ignorance.
In that moment, I became determined. I determined that I would no longer make those kinds of apologies because I was tired of hearing myself say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
It was time I figured out what hurt and it was time I change it and it was time I become different.
When there is healthy relationship, when there is genuine love, when there is an interest in how my behavior affects the Person I am in relationship with, then I wonder what room, if any, is left for taking advantage of mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
I wonder what room, if any, is left for intentionally hurtful behavior.
I know that my love for Jesus would press me to grow weary of hearing myself say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
I know that my love for Jesus would much rather hear me say, “Hey, did You notice what I did there? I knew that would make You smile.”
That no longer involves pointed theologically nuanced discussing, but rather theologically enriched living.