Mercy Still Runs

Dear Asake,

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.

That has never been God’s delight. I am not sure He wants to start with you.

I do not write to everyone today, but to you, dear friend, whose confession to sexual sin has made you feel unaccepted in your local church. You have wept and wept, and feel unwanted, underserving of God’s grace and fellowship. The truth is, anyone who feels deserving of God’s grace doesn’t understand grace. Your sin is not a barrier to God’s grace. God’s grace IS, despite your sin. That you sorrow over your mistake is a good place to start, for a tender conscience is a powerful tool of repentance. But staying sorrowful is being in a place of guilt, of condemnation; it is a place of unbelief. It is a self-centred place to be, of self-absorption, of lack of trust in God’s comforting words of forgiveness. Embrace God’s forgiveness.

Forgive yourself.

I do agree that the brethren must learn to cover the nakedness of one, but do not feel bad that some people who know your story see you differently in church. Many times, the judgmental looks of people are reflection of what their hearts lack. You are also a reminder to some of their fears of potential falling. Many times, their reaction is a safe cover they retreat to, because they are unsure of how they would survive a fall. It is not always about us.

And really, it is the duty of men to see you through the prism of your past. It is the duty of God to remain steadfast in His commitment and faithfulness to you. For He says, “…I will forgive your wickedness and will remember your sins no more.” While He does not condone sin, He is eager for reconciliation and restoration. To do that, He doesn’t judge you by your past. He would rather choose to forget.

Like I wrote to you once: When we speak of grace, it’s not just a mere, galvanizing rhetoric of sins forgiven. I believe, strongly, that is also the gospel of sins forgotten.

You are not the devil who made another brother fall. Don’t believe that lie of yourself. Every man must take responsibilities for their own choices and decisions. For no sexual sin is an accident.

We have all been there at some point in our lives. Moments we wished we said less, or stared less, or sat less. Sin had been on our lips. Sin had been in our eyes. Sin had been in the company we kept. Our hearts had been full of darkness. But we found the light of forgiveness in Christ, in whom we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

You will rise from this experience, enraptured with the love, mercy and grace of God. It would be in your eyes when you see a backsliding brother or sister. It will be in your heart when you see a blind, sinning mass, from whose eyes are hidden the glorious liberty of the gospel. You will be able to talk about God’s restoring grace, not just theologically, but experientially. For after casting your pearls among swine, sleeping hungrily on plain floors, coming back to your senses, you returned home to mercy that came running with open arms. You will always be able to say, “No matter how distant you are, your Father will always be near; arms wide open, longing to embrace you in love.” That message belongs only to the lips of those who have truly experienced God’s mercy, those humbled by their falls and lack a judgmental bone in them; and it is a message many people desperately need to hear. Do not grieve over the time lost, be a faithful steward of the times left.

Rise from the ashes with a commitment to do God’s will.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable,  not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God… 1Thessalonians 3:3-5 (NIV)

Go and fulfil His will. Respectfully serve the discipline of your local church’s authority. Learn that it is the child who the father loves that he disciplines. Your honesty is a plus, confessing your fault to your pastor is biblical. Do not regret the actions you have taken. Build on that foundation of repentance. You can only grow into a life of discipline and service from here.

I would say a prayer for you.

So, let me tell you again:

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.

That has never been God’s delight. I am not sure He wants to start with you.

Your sins are forgiven. Your pains are forgotten.

So, chin up.

Your mess can’t mess up His Message.

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