Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Thursday, October 12, 2006

AskNic Answers and AskNic

Here are the AskNic questions that I received last week. I enjoy answering the questions that you ask me because a lot of times they are fairly thought provoking. I have two such questions today.

The first comes from my dear friend Captain Picard. He is celebrating his 300th post very soon so stop on by and tell him congrats on that big milestone! His blog is ALWAYS entertaining.

Captain Picard asked: What is your idea of comfort?

Well, there are different kinds of comfort. There is the comfort of knowing that you are taken care of financially and can live a certain kind of lifestyle without fear of the wolves knocking on your door. That is probably what most Americans think of when they think of "comfort". I prefer the simpler definitions and kinds.

There is the comfort of being content with what you have in life. If you are content with what you have in life, then you'll never be working to chase the almighty dollar, instead you'll be working to chase your kids around the yard in a game of tag or chasing your spouse around the house in a game of "catch me if you can…". ;) It's the comfort of knowing where your place is in your world, who you are to your friends and family. The comfort of a reassuring hug or seeing the sweet smile of your child and hearing them say "I love you mommy". The comfort of knowing that no matter what is going on in my life that God is always on my side as I live according to His will. Comfort is knowing where you belong and who you are in a crazy, monetary minded, "me first", superficial world. It's being able to curl up with a good book on occasion and a warm mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows or a cool wine. It's being around family and friends and knowing that no matter how you might mess up, they'll always love you and be there for you. It's knowing that you and your family are safe at night and knowing that you have the brave men and women in uniform continents apart who make it so. Comfort is being thankful for what you have and knowing you are loved at the end of the day.

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The second question is from a sweet friend, One4JC. She is going through her own difficult divorce right now and is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now. Through it all, the hurt, the humiliation of her soon-to-be ex's flaunting of his affair – even at church, and all the associated cr@p with that she has kept her faith strong and has plugged ahead, one day, one step at a time. She is a real sweetheart and is fixing to go on a missionary trip to Jamaica so stop by and give her well-wishes for her journey!

One4JC asked me: What would you rank as the "greatest lesson learned" in you life at this point?

Wow, that one is pretty tough. To tell the truth, I've never really thought about it. In Tuesday's post – my 300th! – I gave a very long list of lessons I've learned since I started blogging in early 2005. My life has changed dramatically since then and there were a lot of things that I learned since then. I think that probably the greatest lesson in life that I have learned is the lesson of Grace.

Grace is most commonly called "unmerited favor". Grace is what God offers to fallen sinners through the salvation obtained by the atonement of Jesus Christ. We call it grace because it is undeserved. The forgiveness we receive in Christ is through no work we ourselves do, it is for this reason we call it "unmerited favor". (Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10, Titus 2:11)

Thomas Goodwin stated that "'Grace' is more than mercy and love, it superadds to them. It denotes, not simply love, but the love of a sovereign, transcendently superior, one that may do what he will, that may wholly choose whether he will love or no."

Grace can be natural or supernatural. God gives us His Grace, just as we can give grace to others through forgiveness. Commonly noted for both the natural and supernatural is that Grace gives us what we do not deserve.

My biggest life lesson in Grace is finally understanding that, as a Christian, I can do nothing that will take me out of God's Grace and that is something that I don't deserve for the things I've done in my past. The only unpardonable sin for anyone is the one that has you rejecting, unto death, the sovereignty of Jesus and the gift of salvation. Everything else can be forgiven, that, can not. If you die outside of Christ, without the gift of salvation, you don't get another chance after death. You have sealed your own fate.

I have made some pretty heinous mistakes in my past, and even worse, a lot of them were conscious decisions to make that mistake but I know that I am forgiven when I ask for it and that it is remembered by God no more.

The hardest part about that life lesson though, is extending that same grace to others who have hurt me deeply. That is a lesson that I am still trying to learn. I am human after all with all the human emotions that come with – and believe me, I am someone who feels everything deeply. I'm not an indifferent person, every joy I feel is like being giddy to the extreme, every hurt I feel is like a knife to my soul, every anger I experience makes my blood boil to the point I can feel the blood pressure going up. I have a hard time not taking things personally, even if they aren't meant to be. For those reasons alone, it is more difficult for me than most to extend full grace to those who have hurt me deeply. I'm not perfect, I'm still learning to live my life the way Christ would and it's not easy sometimes to forgive the other person when the other person shows no remorse for the hurt.

So, I've learned the lesson of Grace personally in my life and it is the most precious lesson I have learned, it's just the difficulty of applying it to the situations in my life with certain people is what I'm still struggling with on occasion.

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Would you like to participate in the AskNic question session? Well here's your chance:

This is the place where you can ask me anything that is on your mind about me, something you have wanted to know or were just curious about in general. You can ask about my experiences in life and love and parenting, my beliefs, etc... Be creative, be fun, be introspective, but please be clean - this is a family style blog after all! You can post the questions in the comments section or email me your question directly to asknic@gmail.com.

I will be posting the questions and their responses soon so check back within the next week for them.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Thanks for the mention about my 300th. That was a great answer to my question.

Here is another one: what would be your ideal starter, main course, and pudding?

Chrixean said...

Hi Nic, we're missing you at Thankful Thursday! Hope all's well with you :-)

Ellee said...

Jean-Luc thought we might like to meet up for some in depth chat, how right he is. I shall be back when I have more time. First, I must thank Jean-Luc for recommending you.