<CTRL><Z> is one of the best computer keyboard combinations ever. It is the keyboard command that undoes the last action taken. And, if you continue to click this combination of keys it will continue to undo in reverse all the actions taken consecutively. If you make a mistake you can undo it. And, because you are probably working on your computer by yourself no one else knows you messed up. All they see is the properly done work (aside from mistakes you didn’t catch). GREAT programming and kudos to the person who thought that up.
And now it is Advent season in the church and preseason Christmas time for the local retailers. We are reminded either directly or indirectly, that Jesus is a reality in this world and possibly in our life. For Christians, the good news of Jesus is that he is, for all who want him to be, the one who gives us the opportunity to start over. We might even think about Jesus as our <CTRL><Z> command. But, that’s not really accurate – what we find in Jesus is really Life 2.0 (that’s computer talk for getting updated programming with new tools and options). It’s not that our mistakes are taken away, but that our software is updated and we can live life differently.
Here’s what I’m getting at. <CTRL><Z> is a great command. It works well when we are on our computer and no one else is around. The problem we have in life is that we are often not making our mistakes in private. So often our missteps and struggles are done in a more public arena. Even though we have the new software (Life 2.0) by the grace of God that comes through Jesus, we still mess up. We still make mistakes, hurt those we love, struggle to be better people, and inadvertently cause discord or discontent.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just hit <CTRL><Z>? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just undo our last action and no one would remember the mistake and we would go on like it never happened?
Yeah, that would be nice. Too bad it doesn’t work that way. You see, Life 2.0 – the life we find in Jesus Christ – is downloaded into our being by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. It is given to us not by wiping out all we have done as if it never happened. It is given to us even though we have made those mistakes. The memory of the mistakes remain. It’s like seeing the
corrcetino corrections so we know things are now good, but we can’t get away from the reality of our mistake.
Here is the good news that leads to the challenge we face as followers of Jesus: God knows those mistakes are there. God knows it takes grace and forgiveness to get things back on track. The good news is that God doesn’t count our mistakes against us. He only looks at the corrected work. The challenge is that God asks us to do the same. When people do wrong by us, when others make mistakes, when friends and family are trying to do right and make a misstep or say things the wrong way, our call is to offer grace. Our call as followers of Jesus is not to look at the mistake, but to live in the corrections.
Our call is to love one another even when we feel hurt by others, even when we struggle in our life together. And that, for me, is what makes Life 2.0 a gift I might not always want. I want to be mad. I want to be offended. I want to feel put out and beat up and I don’t want to offer grace to those who make the mistake. I often want to wallow in the abuse I have endured – real or imagined. I want to be unhappy and upset and I should be allowed to do so. And God says I am free to do that. I can act like I am living in Life 1.0, but if I do I won’t really find peace or joy. God says that the gift of new life – 2.0 – is that I have the power to let grace cover the mistake.
I have the power not to erase or undo the mistake, but to look not at the mistake but at the correction. It takes a willingness to live in grace and to love others as God loves me. Grace won’t flow from me unless I LET it flow from me. The good news is Life 2.0 provides an unlimited supply of God’s grace. And, when I give it away, I discover that Life 2.0 truly is the best gift of all.
So, are you living Life 2.0?
Holy high-five to you,