Tuesday, June 19

I acted out of ignorance…

Scripture: 2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 82, 1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1:13 …even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man.  But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief…

Observation

In verses 12-17, Paul shares his story, bracketed front and back with thanks to Jesus for His grace.  Jesus appointed him to the ministry, “even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor and an arrogant man.”  Prior to his conversion, Paul was the Osama bin Laden of his day, a violent persecutor of Christians.  If the Christians of his day voted on “Most Unlikely to be Saved,” Paul (then Saul) would have won hands down.  Yet God chose him and called him to be an apostle!  Sheer grace!  

Paul said that he received mercy because he acted out of ignorance in unbelief.  He just didn’t know, and his terrible behavior was the result of that ignorance and unbelief.

Application

I don’t know what I don’t know!  How many wrong things have I done out of ignorance?  I didn’t know; I was acting on bad intel; so I did the wrong thing.  Answer: lots!  Thank God for His mercy!  He knows what I don’t know.

Laina and I watched the 1987 version of “Overboard” starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.  Goldie’s character is a rich snob, who falls off her yacht, is fished out of the sea with amnesia, and is taken in by Kurt’s character, a poor carpenter whom she stiffed for $600.  He pretends that she is his wife, and mother to his four boys.  After a couple months of the charade, her memory returns and she goes back to her old life—but changed.  One of her staff on the yacht tells her, “You have been given a great gift.  You have been able to step into someone else’s shoes and see life from a different perspective.  Use that gift well.”   

I thought of my friendships with my African-American brothers and sisters, and seeing their perspectives on life—what a gift they’ve given me!  I didn’t know what I didn’t know!

I’m grateful for God’s mercy to open my eyes, keep learning, and giving me new opportunities to get it right!   I need His mercy every day.  And I need to keep learning.  It’s part of our on-going conversion in Christ!

Prayer: Lord, I don’t know what I don’t know.  Have mercy on me!  Help me to keep learning!