Extending Grace to the Good Guys

Continued from here.

This week, I’m responding to an excellent blog article entitled The Good Guys, written by my favorite blogger, Gary Thomas. I encourage you to read this article first.

Thomas said:

But can we do one post to celebrate the good husbands, the ones who heroically serve, authentically love, sincerely cherish, and sacrificially give to their wives and children? Can I do that without raising the anger of those who want to vent about how awful their husbands, boyfriends, bosses or pastors have been? The challenge in doing this is the simple fact that since every man has his compromises and conflicts, the question arises, how perfect does a man have to be to be celebrated?”

To me, Thomas’ question is really about grace. We all want justice for everyone else but mercy, or grace, for ourselves. We want those who have hurt us to pay for what they have done while, at the same time, want to experience God’s forgiveness, allowing Jesus to pay the penalty for the many ways that we have committed spiritual mutiny.

Thomas essentially asked why a man must be “perfect” before he can be celebrated for all he has done right. You’re not going to like the answer, Church: It’s because we, as a Church, are mired in the sin of unforgiveness. We cannot see past our own pain because we choose to continue to hold onto our ashes, even though the Bible clearly requires an exchange: God will give us a crown of beauty, but we must first release the ashes (see Is. 61:3).

I say this as a woman who has been deeply hurt by men. I was sex-trafficked as a child from ages 6-11, and rapes were not the only sin committed against me as a helpless little girl. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand just how cruel a man can be.

But you know what? I’ve also seen and experienced how kind a man can be. One man’s kindness drove him to a cross, where he paid the penalty for all of the time I spent (enjoying!) visualizing murdering my child abusers. Another kind man spent hundreds of hours guiding me through the healing process as my therapist. A third kind man stayed married to me for decades as my post-traumatic stress wreaked havoc on every aspect of our marriage. I wouldn’t have blamed him for leaving me, but he didn’t. Other kind men pastored me, changed my flat tires, opened my car doors after I locked the keys inside … and I could go on. Before I submitted to God’s instruction to forgive the bad guys, I was blinded to the numerous ways my life has been blessed and enriched by the good guys.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cover of The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not about Who You Marry, But Why? Courtesy Amazon.]

 

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