Second Chances

Each day we find ourselves making decisions that determine whether or not we follow the path the Lord asks us to walk. Each day we either walk a step further or we find reasons to stay right where we are on the path.

Do we walk over to that person standing all alone looking lonely and confused, introduce ourselves and see if we can offer a hand? Or, do we walk away?

Do we give up all that we know, quit our jobs and move to another country to share God with people that have never heard? Or, do we continue on our current path in a place where all is familiar?

Obviously, each of the examples are at the extreme ends of the spectrum. The first may only effect the next hour or so of our lives and mean we may not get all accomplished that we had planned on that day. The second changes the course of our lives and that of our families for, quite possibly, the remainder of our days here on earth. Each affects the world around us and involves the sharing of God's love with others.

Imagine you are Jonah... God has asked you to go to another city and give them a message straight from Him. This city isn't just any city either. It is Ninevah -- Israel's archenemy. Everything in Jonah tells him he should run the other direction (which, as we know, is exactly what he does). At the very least he feared they would laugh in his face. At the very worst, they could harm him or his homeland of Israel. (A biblical description of Ninevah can be found in Nahumn 3:1-19.)

What if they repented of their sins after hearing Jonah's preaching? That could lead to the success of these enemies of Israel. A example would be to imagine a NATO soldier being called to help the Taliban. Not something we're likely to see, huh?

Yet, that is exactly what God was calling Jonah to do. Go and offer to help the people of Ninevah. Go and tell them how they, too, can receive a 2nd chance. It goes strongly goes against how our very human feelings lead us to act, doesn't it? As humans, it is not always our first instinct to offer 2nd chances. Unfortunately, many times our first response is that we want to see our enemies hurt in the same way we hurt.

My kids have the DVD of the Veggie Tales version of Jonah's story. At the end, it tells us that "God is a God of second chances". As Christians we know that to be true, but do we extend that same grace to our enemies? Do we want to be a party to our enemies receiving that same grace?

I have always believed God's grace and mercy extended to EVERYONE... even to our mightiest of enemies. However, what if God asked me to go to my mightiest enemy and proclaim God's love? What is God asked me to go and share of a love so strong and so powerful and so full of grace that they too could experience eternal life? What would I do?

How about you? What would you do? What if you were that NATO soldier being asked to go help the Taliban?

2 Thoughts Shared:

Shelby said...

Well, you don't mess around, do you, Melanie? Right to the hard questions! I like to think I'd help and in the end I guess I would but I'd have to kind of talk myself into it and then I'm not sure I could do it with the right attitude in my heart. So I'd obey but grudgingly. How's that for an honest answer? Makes me realize I need some growth in that area.

Beth E. said...

Wow...what a powerful post, and what a great challenge!

I do want to share God's love with everyone...even my worst enemy. Praying for the wisdom, strength, and boldness to do that!