Met a young girl the other day (approximately 16 in age) and immediately noticed she was expecting. No, not expecting a car or anything of trivial value, but EXPECTING in the big sense…a child. Teen parenting in our country is an epidemic. I use the word epidemic because it is widespread, it is not really desired by most, and it is an infectious recent culture shift due to sexual interaction outside of marriage.
Now before you quit reading, know that this is not what this blog is about…so hang in there.
This blog is really about “brokenness” and our response to it. We live in a culture/ country which is similar to all cultures since the beginning of time. They are all made up of people, but not just any people, broken people, each w/ issues, handicaps, and struggles. The Bible uses the term “sin” to describe this condition. Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble…you are one of those people.
Teen pregnancy outside of marriage is just one manifestation of this brokenness. It tends to attract more attention because of it’s outward visibility, long term repercussions, tole on society, etc., but in the grand scheme it is just one version of the broken story…our stories.
Here is where the gospel shines, that an “unbroken/ sinless” God would desire to show grace to a broken/ sinful people in order to have community with them…with us. However, this must be fully understood in order to experience it. Grace is offered, but also must be utilized. In order to receive the remedy for our brokeness, Faith (trust) in Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection (coming back from the dead) must be in place to receive and experience this “amazing grace”. A transaction must occur. Our broken lives traded for forgiveness and restoration.
God makes provision, He offers it, but it must be received/ embraced in order to experience it.
Now back to our story… How we respond to other’s brokeness is an indication of wether or not we have experienced God’s provision for our own personal sin. I could have shunned this young teen mom, as previous generations did…I could have celebrated, acting as all was fine and it was no big deal…or I could look into her eyes and see the fear/regret/tiredness/questions…ultimately BROKENNESS, and offer her hope, help, & grace. I chose to respond with grace. I chose to love. That my friends pairs flesh w/ the gospel.
God calls us to “love our neighbors as ourselves”, so what does that look like? Here is the answer:
DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO OFFER YOU GRACE?
Obviously, the answer is a resounding YES.
If we desire to receive grace we will also demonstrate/ offer grace.
Here lies the danger…someone that does not believe they need grace does not offer it. Jesus used a story to capture this concept in Matthew 9:10-13;
“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
There are those that are well and offer what Jesus offers, grace…there are those that think they are well/ clean, but deny others grace and offer judgement instead…and finally there are those that are sick/ broken, desperately needing to be made well/ experience the grace that Jesus Christ offers.
What will you offer? #yourmove