Kyle Idleman @ Saddleback Lake Forest
Kyle Idleman gave one of the best talks I've ever heard on grace. Jesus never talked about grace, but he demonstrated it in the highest way. He atoned for our sins even though we didn't deserve it. Grace is the opposite of justice. It is not seeking restitution for a wrongdoing against you; it's choosing forgiveness. It's one of those things that's difficult to fully grasp when you're just given the meaning, but it becomes something very powerful when you share it in an experience. I was fortunate enough to be able to hear Kyle's.
He talked about how as he was preparing this sermon on grace, a mirror had fallen off the wall in the bathroom and shattered into pieces. He went to clean it up, and as he was picking up the pieces, he saw something he hadn't seen in a long time.
There was a hole in the wall behind where that mirror was hanging. That hole was his. Some time ago, in a fit of rage, he had punched a hole in that wall, and that mirror was used to hide the memory and the shame. Now everything came back to him as he looked at his reflection in the shattered glass on the floor. He always tried to be a good man. A loving husband. A caring father. He's a pastor… and yet he still lost control of his anger and unleashed it on this wall.
His wife heard the crash from the mirror falling and walked in to see what was going on. She saw him on the floor in tears and realized what was going through his head. He couldn't remember if he had even apologized for doing it, much less what the argument was about. His wife knelt down, embraced him, and ran her fingers through his hair. That was a moment where he experienced grace like never before.
Interestingly enough, that story of anger is not uncommon for many men, and after revealing it during a service, he was greeted by a long line of men waiting to share a similar story with him.
Recently, I've been struggling with a particular thought, and it's strange that I would hear his message right now. Sometimes I'm not sure how I feel about what happened between Jewelz and me. I know it had to be God's plan or else I wouldn't even be Christian today. However, there were certain aspects of it that just didn't sit right with me. At this point, I'll warn you that I'm just speculating a lot of things, but…
I ask myself, "How could Jewelz tell me she loved me one week, break up with me the next week, and then go out with some other dude that looks like me nine days later?" It just didn't make any sense. She loved me more than I loved her through the entire relationship. How could she possibly get over me that quickly when I was still struggling with how to stop loving her? She's gotta be dating someone else to get over me, which doesn't seem like a very healthy idea. Maybe she's taking after one of her close friends who did the same thing. It seems like such an immature and destructive thing to do. Shouldn't she spend more time leaning on God and building her relationship with Him rather than leaning on some random dude to make herself feel better? That can't end well…
#Timeout. Whether or not this all happens to be true, I have two options in front of me. I can continue this line of thought, which will end up making me angry and resentful of her, or I can choose grace and forgive/love her despite her shortcomings.
I choose grace.
Why? Because Jesus gave me grace despite all the terrible things I've done in my life.
Jewelz, if you ever read this, I want you to know that I'm not mad. I'm not mad that you dropped me like a rock. I'm not mad that you decided to block me out of your life completely. You're only human. I know you probably had just about married me in your mind, and the pain of trying to give that up must have been tremendous. Possibly worse than anything you ever had to deal with (I know it was for me). You blocked me on Instagram, on Facebook, and via phone and text. You even had all your friends block me on Facebook. It's actually kind of impressive how thorough you were with shutting me out lol. I'm not mad that you decided to start dating someone else. I just hope that you really focus on building your relationship with God. I hope you take the time to lean on Him to help you through the pain of our breakup instead of using anything or anyone else to fill that role in your life.
I'm not angry. In fact, I still love you (I'm not in love with you, but I still love you), and you're still the most amazing person I've ever met.
This is a moment where I choose to give grace.
Disclaimer: (Of course, I might be completely wrong about her mindset in all of this, in which case I just made myself look like an idiot lmao. Who knows. Only God can truly see into her heart now.)