Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me?

John 14:27 I do not give to you as the world gives.

Long before Larry the Cucumber sang his first "Silly Song", I was composing silly songs about my sweet family and my love for them. There is now a whole repertoire of ditties that even includes cheers. My favorite chant is the one we use when the interior of the car isn't cooling off as quickly as we'd like. In it's original form it goes:

It's hot. It's hot. It's hot in here.
There must be a (Insert school mascot) in the

In its' Milholland form, we insert each family members' name in the blank for six rousing rounds. Not too long ago, I was just getting started on a journey out of the house when my youngest, Rynnie, Busted out with this cheer. Carynne majors in attributes like sweet and sensitive and minors in ones such as showie and attention-seeker so immediately I was captivated by this deviation from her typical personality. Bursting with confidence, she called, "It's hot. It's hot. It's hot in here. There must be a Daddy inside my ear." Having none so far, I anticipate having no success convincing her those aren't the words to the cheer.

Today I am in John 6:22-44. This section details the conversation Jesus has with the crowd of folks who had been miraculously fed the prior day. In this passage, Jesus makes profound statements such as, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." and "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry." The section that penetrates my heart today though is Verses 41-42. The Jews began to complain because additionally Jesus had proclaimed He was the bread that had come from heaven. Their response was to focus on the facts about Jesus they were sure of. 1) He was Joseph's son. 2) They knew Joseph's parents, so it would be impossible for Jesus to have come from heaven.

The fallacy our friends belief is presuming that they "knew it all". They could not conceive of a paradigm in which Jesus wasn't actually the son of Joseph. I wonder how often I place Jesus in a doubt box. I am often tempted to focus on what I think I know instead of what I know God can do. This kind of thinking doesn't limit His ability to work in someone else's life, but mine could be significantly stagnated.

  • When someone has unsuccessfully been through rehab a couple of times, do I choose to believe when they say this time they finally "kicked it" with God's help?
  • When a friend betrays me (again) and then asks my forgiveness, do I let her back into my heart or hold her at arm's length?
  • When a family member I've known since birth decides to change God's way, do I give him the freedom to do that or do I really just expect more of the same?

The ultimate reflection of God in me is when I extend grace as lavishly as He does. Yet grace is the one thing I'm most tempted not to give. At advice I'm great. A critical spirit I've got cold. Jesus, today may I operate out of your amazing grace instead of my limited mind and may Your grace be generous, abundant, bountiful.

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