I recently started writing the chapter where Linda has given birth to a child out of wedlock. It can be a disturbing experience when something happens that one was not expecting to happen and for Christians, it can be a ‘faith-threatening’ experience. Those who experience such ‘miss-haps’ in Christian circles face some serious stigma, some lowered marriage chances in some circles and possible lower self-esteem. This applies to other lifestyles considered abhorrent.
I joggled through my mind today the issue of the prodigal son’s brother; how he said to his father something like ‘I have been with you all this while and served you faithfully but you have given me nothing yet when this son of yours returns from spending you wealth on women and parties, you throw a party for him’! Sometimes you probably feel that way without saying it: someone is getting something out of life that you think you deserve more than that person.
You might have in the past thought about women who you felt were too loose or lousy to be good wives but they are married long before you are; men who were every lady’s plaything back in school but they are now taking care of their families making more money than you are while you are faithfully working for your boss trying to save enough to talk to a lady. It’s amazing that life simply does not follow our calculations.
The matter at hand further reminds me of a certain feast the Lord Jesus attended. While at the feast a prostitute walked in, fell down at his feet and started kissing his feet. When Jesus heard the judgemental thoughts of His host, he told a parable and asked a question. Something like this: ‘If I cancel the debt of two people, who would be more grateful, the one who owes NGN5 million or the one who owes NGN5000?’ The answer is obvious.
The workings of God’s grace are indeed mysterious. Where sin abounds, grace abound much more yet we cannot justify deliberately sinning in order to produce grace neither can we deny those who have ‘sinned more’ than we have a greater abundance of grace.