I like to think. I like to analyze situations, identify root causes and speculate about possible factors playing into a situation. I just like understanding why things are the way they are, and considering alternative reasonings.
But there’s a danger in that. The danger is that I begin to think that those explanations justify what’s happening. That the past justifies the future, or absolves it from all responsibility. That’s not true.
I freely accept the grace God lavishes on me. But I need to also recognize and accept that His grace does not belong just to me. It covers everyone else as well. And what that means is that we are All forgiven. And that means that no matter what might have been done to me in the past, the doctrine of grace says that it is forgiven, that the consequences, while still present, are not definitive. That means that I am responsible for what I choose to do in response to the present situation in which I find myself. In fact, I am doubly so, since I choose to make myself acutely aware of the history that affects the present. I cannot claim to be ignorant.
It does not matter what research or history says about whose fault something is. We are responsible for our actions in the present. We have the freedom to act beyond the pattern of the past because we have been set free in Christ.
Walk in this newness of life. It requires humility of the truest kind. It is a life beyond payback, beyond settling the score. It is a life that extends grace as grace as has been given me.
Lord, teach me to walk in Your ways.