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Christian Women's Magazine | The God of Second Chances

JBU Summer 2009

By Connie Fink

If you have not personally experienced a time that feels like dense woods, what are some ways you may show understanding to the one walking a difficult path? What can you do to prevent further hurt in his or her life? Using your gifts, how can you communicate hope and anticipation for what God has in store? 

Some of us are better at the onset, the point of greatest fear. 

It is here that we give words of direction and provide spiritual and emotional equipment for the journey, such as providing the name of a Christian counselor, the invitation to a weekly Bible study, or the offer to be a prayer partner. 

Some are better in the middle, at the point of greatest discouragement, when neither the end nor the beginning is in sight.

It is here that words of assurance and hope will give courage to persevere: giving frequent notes reminding of God’s promises, an invitation to a quiet dinner or a listening ear regardless of what is said or how it is said. (Hugs help too!) 

Some are best at the end, ready with refreshment and nourishment.

It is here where we are aware that, even though our brother or sister may look bedraggled at the moment, he or she is stronger than ever before. Welcome the use of his gifts and abilities. For it is through their expression that you will get a glimpse of the exciting things God can do not only for the individual but also for the rest of the body. 

How do you know when the individual is out of the woods? As his or her church leader, how much responsibility should you give and when? The Apostle Peter says, 

“...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins” (2 Pet. 1:5-9).

According to this passage, if these qualities are increasing in a life, they render one useful and fruitful. Even though there may have been a time of struggle or sin, a place of usefulness and fruitfulness can be resumed within the body of Christ when these qualities are evident and increasing.

Let’s show God’s loving-kindness to everyone – and not be harder on each other or ourselves than God Himself. Remember, God is the God of second chances!


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