Acceptance and Forgiveness

I am 70 years old, and have done a lot of things wrong in those years, and spend every evening examining my life and confessing my sins to God, repenting, and experiencing His forgiveness. I don’t use that gift from God as a license to do whatever I want, my strongest desire in life is to please Him in all that I do.

One of the key principles from God in the Bible is to accept one-another, not to judge one-another, and not to be critical. We are all on a journey and some are farther along than others, so the way things work well is for those farther along to encourage, admonish, coach, and pray for those who are struggling.

I blogged about divorce yesterday. I have lots of very good friends who have been divorced, good friends that are thinking about it, and I am still their good friend. Because I am still good friends with them doesn’t mean I think their choice of divorce was wise. Because I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and His will and instruction on how to live life, my view of divorce is what the Bible teaches. Divorce has so many consequences down the road, especially if kids are involved. One of my strongest views and beliefs is that life is supposed to be hard, designed by God that way in order to develop our character so that we are mature, like Jesus when we enter heaven. Our natural tendency is to try to escape hard situations, and so we quit things as a way of escaping. We would be so much more mature and stronger if we would work at our marriage, learn, sacrifice, and pay whatever price it would take to preserve it.

Nothing makes me feel more like a failure as a pastor than people whom I have taught, counseled, and coached choosing to get a divorce. But when they do, I do all I can to encourage and help them continue on with Jesus and to grow stronger. I love them, accept them, go fishing with them, and continue to teach, encourage, admonish, nag all married couples to pursue an excellent marriage.

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