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Two Experiences

January 22, 2023

Blake Lassiter wrote this, and I share it here with his graciously expressed permission –

I think people experience the Bible in either one of two ways….

The first are like the woman at the well. They experience the depths of God’s love and grace, knowing that they are truly forgiven, cherished, accepted, and told that God does not see them as sinners to be judged but simply people needing love. They overflow with gratefulness and joy, and in turn show the same to others because they intimately see the connection between God’s love and God’s grace. They share, they love, they include.

The second see the Bible much like the Pharisee in the parable of “The tax collector and the Pharisee”: they see laws and commandments by which to judge others, and these judgments fill them with self-righteousness. They use scripture to look down upon people, and they brag inwardly, “Thank God I’m not like that sinner.”

Jesus joyfully eats and drinks with the first group, but the second group still refuses to come into the party because they resent the love God shows to all people. They are resentful because for them sins are to be punished not forgiven.

The irony is that church more often than not turns us into the second group rather than the first, for they still are shocked that Jesus parties with tax collectors and sinners.

So if the church has hurt you, marginalized you, excluded you, judged and condemned you, just know that they are not following Jesus.

And maybe say a little prayer for their hardened and bitter hearts that someday they might experience the joy of God’s love and grace.

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