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My Two Cents

by Rev Chuck Behrens


May, 2014

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I didn't watch them much this year. I always want to, but, oh yeah, there's that thing called T-I-M-E! I really don't like watching many things on DVR (because I never do) and I really don't like watching Sports that way or the Olympics. I like watching it all LIVE. The triple axles on the ice, the amazing jumps on the ski slopes, and those gravity-defying flights of the snow-boarders. Oh, yeah, and the falls, the bad starts, and crashes. Live. I like watching those kinds of things, live.

I'm fine with showing the good stuff again and again. It's the replays of what they did wrong that bother me. I don't want that DVRed. Probably because I've been working with patients and their families for so long. And, over and over, I've seen the damage that's done when mistakes and suffering keeps getting replayed--especially when there's no need.

It's true, isn't it? We know very well what's wrong with us. But we have a hard time thinking what's right with us, so we don't feel like we're worth much. So we act like we're not worth much. We do things not all that good, just to FEEL good, to feel loved.

Oh, there's a lot that goes into our feelings of value or worthlessness. Sometimes it takes a lot to be reminded, to know: WE COUNT!

I read somewhere that we humans need seven positive strokes for every negative we get. Which years ago made me ask, "What's the ratio at our house?" Too often, we use the replays of our kids' shortcomings to somehow get them to change, to do better just to vent our frustrations maybe.

And yet, how many of us still carry in our head those critical, negative words that our parents said over and over to us? They still hurt. They're still part of our adult struggle to feel right about ourselves. What was constantly replayed by our parents has shaped our life. And so it is with our children. It’s part of the legacy we leave them, and one it's never too late to change.

That's why this one statement from the Bible went deep into my soul as a parent. It says in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths..." That's words that tear them down. "...but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs." You've got construction; you've got demolition. My words to my children have been one or the other. As I look in the mirror, I see a guy who has no right to keep replaying anyone's mistakes. Not after the way God has treated me.

I don't need much help seeing where I've blown it. I'm painfully aware of how I've failed; who I've failed even in the past few days. What saves me, literally, is that my Father does not replay all the dark episodes of my life. Of all the people who could nail me for my many sins, God has that undisputed right. He gave me this life. So often, I've simply dissed the One who made me and done what I want to do. And I have defied a sinless, totally holy God.

I would run from Him, except for one thing. What the Bible tells me about Him. And it's our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 130:3, "If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness." What a word! Forgiveness. What an expensive word. Not for me, but for the God I've sinned against, because of what His Son did so I would never meet my sins on Judgment Day.

The Bible says, "He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him" (Isaiah 53:5-6). My sins removed, never again to be replayed, by a God who loved me so much He would do whatever it took not to lose me. And it took His very best - His Son.

This full pardon from an all-perfect God is always within our's what made Good Friday, GOOD and Easter, well, Easter, BETTER--and not just a day or a season but Everlasting...Oh, that we may LIVE as such!

See you in Church,

Rev. Chuck