We are spending 7 weeks in Luke 15, specifically the story about a Dad and 2 sons.
The first step of repentance for the younger son was when ‘he came to himself.’ He came to his senses. He woke up– like coming out of a trance. It is very passive. He did not ‘make himself wake up.’ It was an act of grace. God gives us 2 gifts to ‘bring us to ourselves’. One is the Holy Spirit– our comforter, counselor, and convicter. The second is each other.
On Sunday I told a story about a friend whose son came to him for help in seeing the holes in the yard so he would not fall into them. The son’s name was Zach. I invited our community to a posture of ‘Zach-ness’. Can we come to other people whom we trust and say, help me see the holes in my life and character. Help me come to my senses. ‘Hole-spotter’ is not a position we can assume in someone’s life, but it is a position we can invite other people to take. You can’t assert yourself as ‘official-hole-identificator’, but you can humbly ask others to play that role in your life. Hole-spotting has to be invited, it can’t be taken.
Here are the examples I gave of holes we could use help identifying:
- you go to a few friends– would you listen to the way I talk about my husband? Am I respectful with my words? Do I honor him? Would you point out the holes in my speech? Do I need to repent of my words?
- Or you go to some friends– would you look at the way I spend my time and energy? Am I giving my best to loving my wife? Do I know her love language? Am I giving a proportional amount of energy to loving her that I give to pleasing my clients? Would you point out the holes you see in my actions of love toward my spouse? Do I need to repent of my lack of love?
- Would you pay attention to, talk with me about the ways I spend my money? Can I show you my tax return from 2008 and talk about my charitable giving? Can I talk with you about the big purchases I want to make or the hundreds of dollars that I can’t seem to account for each month? Would you point out the holes you see in my spending and my generosity? Do I need to repent of my greed or finding my security in wealth?
- Would you talk with me about the media I consume– internet, tv, movies, facebook, pornography. Do I need to repent of my lust or my escapism?
- Would you notice how much care and time I am spending with my parents? Do I need to repent of my selfishness?
- Do you have other categories of where we need ‘hole-spotters’?
In a community of grace, these are safe questions to ask. We all need courage to be a Zach– to invite someone in to be used by God to bring us to our senses and wake us up. The lavish, unprecedented love of the Father is waiting for those who humbly repent. Let us be a community that courageously lives this kind of grace.