Of course there are consequences for wrong behavior and most assuredly, we will have to walk out those consequences. Some might even have to be incarcerated or separated from families. But the joy and peace that comes with forgiveness of those wrong doings, is what helps people get back on the right track again. I remember many many years ago, when I had done something that I wasn't very proud of, I said to my parents, "There isn't a thing you can say to me that will make me feel any worse than I already feel. There aren't any rebukes you can give me that I haven't already given myself." Do you think that if we withhold forgiveness and sit in judgement, someone will make amends faster? Does God refuse to extend His love to those who have fallen?
I belong to a church that believes in "doing life together". That includes the stuff that isn't pretty. That means when someone has offended, we don't kick them out and make them go away in shame and embarrasment. We love them back to the fold. We help, counsel, teach, train, and pray with them so that if they should want to repent and make their lives right, we are not an obstacle to that. Most of the time, people who have fallen just need someone to believe in them, in order to get redemption.
People of the Second Chance. This organization is a "global community of activists, imperfectionists, and second chancers, committed to unleashing radical grace everyday, in every moment, for everyone." Our mission is to overthrow judgement and liberate love. I would love for you to check them out and see if you might like be a part of this mission. Who would you give a second chance to? Maybe you need to give yourself a second chance. God would!!
From His Lap,