What owns you?
A few months ago I wrote a couple posts entitled #12 Forgiveness and #13 Redemption from my 30-30 series: 30 life lessons I have learnt in the last 30 years. They are two of the most important posts I have written this year. They are also born out of the most pain in my own life and the lives of people around me that I see, watch, and do life with. Sometimes I want to look away from all of the pain in the world but I can’t. As a Christian, I cannot. Jesus compels me to see people and have compassion that is often so much bigger than me. It feels weighty. It feels too much oftentimes. If I didn’t loathe apathy so much I would wish for it just for a break sometimes. I told a friend this week about the weight of life feeling too much sometimes. He told me I needed to make a practice of laughing more. I thought that was good advice.
I also cannot look away because the mess isn’t just around me but it is me. Engaging with forgiveness and the need for redemption is not a practice in pointing the finger to others but in looking at my own life, my own heart and knowing how deeply I need to forgive and be forgiven. It is me looking at my own life and knowing I have been redeemed more than I can imagine (by Jesus) and yet in the day to day experiences of life that bring more pain and sorrow, knowing I need redemption still. I need change. I need to turn from sin. I need to learn to trust more. I need to forgive. I have forgiven and then I need the pain to heal. I see redemption in it being a past tense: I have been redeemed and an ongoing progressive need.. I am needing redemption.
That is life in all it’s realness.
I have been reading an excellent book this week by a guy named Andy Stanley. The book has nothing to do with this blog post however. Andy is a pastor in Atlanta and the content of the book pricked my interest enough to go to their church website. Their church covers some interesting topics and the last chapter I read he said they covered the topic of pornography a few times a year (and was using it as an illustration on when to give people a heads up so they don’t bring their children to that service. Helpful tip.) So of course me and my curiosity I go to North Point’s website to look for their sermons on porn to see what he had to say. A bit odd googling “porn” on a church website.
I came across this talk instead and decided to give it a go and felt like it was helpful in lieu of some of the things that have been rolling around in my mind lately. It connects because we only need forgiveness because something is wrong and broken. We only need redeemed when we have fallen into a pit we cannot get out of ourselves. Maybe you will find these words helpful too.
What do you do with the biggest regrets of your life?
You know.. the thing.. THAT thing.. that haunts you.
You’d love to erase it.
That it even happened.
The pain. The consequences.
Yet. You are trapped.
And often live out of that regret.
It dictates your life.
It owns you.