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Grace for the Other Guy – Convicted Convict

Loving Your NeighborKey Bible Verse: Now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. Hebrews 2:11

Bonus Reading:  Romans 8:29-30

The third day I was at the federal prison at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, it rained.  The groundskeepers work detail to which I was assigned was excused from duty.  Finding an empty spot in the dayroom, I read my Bible and came across the Key Bible Verse for today.

That verse hit me hard. I suddenly saw life differently. The men around me weren’t “murderers,” “armed robbers,” and “drug dealers.” They were brothers, human beings just like me.

Some of them had done terrible things, sure.  But so had I.

I might have some talents that society rewarded more highly than it did the talents of these men, but those abilities had been given to me at birth. I’d nurtured them, it’s true, but I’d also misused them time and again. Anything that might distinguish me from these other men, I realized, was a difference in degree, not in kind.

We were all gifted and flawed people, and I could no longer pretend I was qualified to judge anyone.  Who was I to place myself apart?  I became convinced—no, convicted—that in God’s eyes, I was fortunate to be someone, like my fellow prisoners, of whom Jesus was not ashamed.

—Charles Colson in The Good Life

My Response: Colson says, “I never truly understood people until I was crushed.” I think the reason for that is …

Thought to Apply: Be as patient with others as God has been with you.—Source Unknown

Adapted from The Good Life (Tyndale, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, I’m on the receiving end of Your grace big time! Help me to dish it out to others.


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