(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

I recently purchased a book called “Grace for the Moment” by Max Lucado. It is a small book of daily readings collected from this man’s many books. The readings are just little “bite-sized” portions to ponder on. This particular “bite-sized” portion happened to lodge in my throat and make me think a little bit today. Here it is:

“CAN YOU imagine a world minus sin? Have you done anything recently because of sin?

At the very least, you’ve complained. You’ve worried. You’ve grumbled. You’ve hoarded when you should have shared. You’ve turned away when you should have helped…

Because of sin, you’ve snapped at the ones you love and argued with the ones you cherish. You have felt ashamed, guilty, bitter.

Sin has sired a thousand heartaches and broken a million promises. Your addiction can be traced back to sin. Your mistrust can be traced back to sin. Bigotry, robbery, adultery – all because of sin. But in heaven, all of this will end.

Can you imagine a world without sin? If so, you can imagine heaven.”

THERE are some pointed thoughts and questions in that passage! “You’ve snapped at the ones you love and argued with the ones you cherish.” Isn’t it true? Isn’t just like the song, “You always hurt the one you love?” Why have I often done this? I guess I could just excuse it by saying that that is just the way it is when you live closely with someone. I’m human. They are human. Humans often irritate one another when you place them in close proximity for any length of time. But why? Why is it this way? Was it this way in the very beginning when God made the first humans? Or did something happen at some point in our history that made us this way?

I was tempted to brush these thoughts away and chalk up my shortcomings to the fact that “this is just the way I am” until I read the next page in Lucado’s book:

“GOD wants us to be just like Jesus.

Isn’t that good news? You aren’t stuck with today’s personality. You aren’t condemned to ‘grumpydom.’ You are tweakable. Even if you’ve worried each day of your life, you needn’t worry the rest of your life. So what if you were born a bigot? You don’t have to die one.

Where did we get the idea we can’t change? From whence come statements such as, ‘It’s just my nature to worry’ or, ‘I’ll always be pessimistic. I’m just that way.’ Who says? Would we make similar statements about our bodies? ‘It’s just my nature to have a broken leg. I can’t do anything about it.’ Of course not. If our bodies malfunction, we seek help. Shouldn’t we do the same with our hearts? Shouldn’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes? Can’t we request treatment for our selfish tirades? Of course we can. Jesus can change our hearts. He wants us to have a heart like His.”

WELL, after this good man’s observations, all I will say is that I definitely stand in need of great amounts of help from above! Yes, you may all shout, “Amen to that!”

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