Thank You For Trying
“Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:6 (NIV)
Up to a year or so ago, the van I was driving was twenty years old, and the list of bits that had stopped working was growing alarmingly. In the last year of its life, we spent a lot of time together at the local garage for repairs. Several times their repairs didn’t work either, and one repair even ruined an expensive new piece they’d put on earlier, but I’d just hit on Romans 5:6 (above) that told me relationships are more important to God than how perfect our works are, so I thanked my mechanics for trying.
It amazed me how they responded. They didn’t hide in the lube bay when I arrived with another repair job that hadn’t worked. Instead, the boss left me speechless at the number of new parts he put on free of charge, and the huge amount of work he never charged me for, most of which he did himself. I worked out later that I only paid a sixteenth of what he could have charged.
It was a lesson that stuck with me in my dealings with repair people and the like, who don’t always do a perfect job. If Christ could die for the ungodly, what’s a “thank you for trying” to a less than perfect repairman by comparison?
It’s like the story of the master who says, “Well done, good and faithful servant” to the man who doubled his talents in Matthew 25:21. Well done, that man, he cries. I like that, because it’s a glimpse into how Jesus looks at us. He knows we’re far less than perfect, and if it wasn’t for him doing all the essential work in our lives we’d be disintegrating wrecks like my van, but instead of focusing on our imperfections he says, “Well done.” He did the work but he gives us the credit.
And knowing that’s what he’s like, I can see how a simple “Thank you for trying” can give others who are less than perfect a glimpse of what he’s like too.
Thank you, Father, that we’re coming to know your Son like you do, because now we can see ways of helping others come to know him too.
Study by Jonathan Buck
About the Author:
Jonathan Buck is an Elder and pastors four Grace Communion International congregations in Canada. He and his wife, Berry, pastored in the UK before moving to Canada a number of years ago. When they are visiting family in England they attend Grace Communion in Lewes.
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
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