Friday, January 18, 2008


"If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9

You might have caught the fact from my last post (or from knowing me!) that I am, as Lee and I laughingly say, a recovering legalist. (He's one too.)  Legalist...perfectionist... the two seem to go hand in hand.  It really bugs me when I fail to live up to my own or others' expectations, and more importantly, what I perceive to be God's expectations.

I caught a conversation between some youth of our church last night that warmed my heart. They had apparently had an animated discussion about original sin during youth group, which spilled over into the hallway afterwards. I don't know the details, but what I thought I heard was some friends encouraging one guy who seemed to be frustrated over his sinful nature. I'll skip the theology of sin for this post, but I'm always glad when people are grieved over their shortcomings. Grief is the open door to grace. But we must be willing to receive it.

This conversation reminded me of a song that has helped me numerous times when I have messed up. So Wayne Watson, bless you! Here's the verse, from "Every Now and Again":

It's good to go down to defeat now and then
To fail at some noble pursuit
To fall short of the prize
And find in His eyes
There's nothing your victory can do
To secure higher favor
Oh, He cannot love you more than now
Winners and losers
all are the same somehow.

Thank you so much, Lord, for every reminder that your love is unconditional, and your grace and mercy are constant.  


A Thinker said...

A 'recovering legalist', I love it. As a lawyer, you can imagine my problems with legalism! I'm formally trained! (I always tell my husband, 'don't argue with me, I'm formally trained in how to argue.') But how easy it is to forget how short we fall in the absence of His grace.

Tracy P. said...

I think I better stay away from law school! :-)

A Thinker said...

I'd recommend that on a number of

Eric Olson said...

Where was the original sin discussion going? I often wonder where the current youth group is on the liberal-con scale. I've made quite the liberal swing from the conservative monopolies of Steph and Sam. Oooo, if only I was walking by at that moment.. you're lucky to catch some good debate, if you ask me!

Tracy P. said...

Oh hi Eric! I'm honored that you stopped by for a visit! You know, I couldn't tell you what direction the conversation took, only that it was animated. I didn't have time to get involved. As far as the youth group, I don't think its pendulum has swung as far as yours has, but I know Ben teaches in there quite a bit, so at the least it's well-informed. :-)

Stop back soon!

Benjamin said...

Well-informed? I dunno. I used to get into trouble regularly with parents who thought what I taught was too far off the beaten path. That's probably a story on it's own, but suffice it to say that "well-informed" is in the eye of the beholder.

We're all recovering from something - some better than others. Good thing their is grace which frees me to begin again.

Unknown said...

Dude - did I just use "their" instead of "there"? Well informed indeed!

Tracy P. said...

Dude - did you? Who would have noticed?