Morning Devotion – 1 Timothy 1:12-13

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  (1 Timothy 1:12-13)

Personal testimonies are important.  They help us understand the things people are passionate about. 

The other day I saw some newscasts announcing Chuck Colson’s death.  Most of them identified him as a central figure in the Watergate scandal.  A few mentioned he was involved in prison ministry.  And as the hours passed a few more gave the ministry aspect of his life more attention…but not much.

Two things made me sad.  Let me preface what these two things are by saying I believe Chuck Colson single-handedly brought prison ministry into the mainstream of American thought, and was responsible for the transformation of thousands of lives.  There were other hard working servants who were faithfully doing the ministry before, but Colson’s high-profile changed everything.

The first thing that makes me sad is that our culture is so often stuck in a judgmental mode, long after people’s lives have changed.  It is ironic that a media industry where Christians are portrayed as being judgmental can’t forgive something a man did decades ago and has spent his entire life trying to set right.  It is also ironic that Chuck Colson gave himself to proving the worth and contribution of incarcerated criminals, and he is still remembered most as the convicted Watergate guy.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I lived through the Watergate years, and the breach of trust between our government and its people was horrible.  But Chuck did his time, and did his best to make things up to us.

The second thing that makes me sad is that the story of Chuck Colson’s prison ministry was somehow lost.  I see this as a lack of awareness of how a man reached down to the worst of the worst and showed them grace and hope.  It also ignores the difference he made in the lives of family members.

I think every life is important, and people’s stories should be told.  So I am really disappointed that Chuck Colson’s story was not given the attention it deserved.  Can you tell I am disappointed?  Maybe it will be in time.

Anyway, while we aren’t defined by our past, what we were and what we have become are both important.  Paul was well acquainted with regret and remorse, and he knew there were some things only the grace of Jesus could cover.  There was no way he could hope to be saved by the Law, even though he committed his crimes defending it. 

“Mercy”… Sometimes it is the only thing we have left to build upon.

Dear God, remind me what I was before I became who I am.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  (1Timothy 1:12-13)

 

Personal testimonies are important.  They help us understand the topics people are passionate about.  However, it is still hard for us to fully comprehend what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.

 

The other day I saw some newscasts announcing Chuck Colson’s death.  Most of them identified him as a central figure in the Watergate scandal.  A few mentioned he was involved in prison ministry.  And as the hours passed a few more gave the ministry aspect of his life more attention…but not much.

 

Two things made me sad.  Let me preface what these two things are by saying Chuck Colson single-handedly brought prison ministry into the mainstream of American thought, and was responsible for the transformation of thousands of lives.  There were others who were doing the ministry before, but Colson’s high-profile changed everything.

 

The first thing that makes me sad is that our culture is so often stuck in a judgmental mode, long after people’s lives have changed.  It is ironic that a media industry whereChristians are portrayed as being judgmental can’t forgive something a man did decades ago and has spent his entire life trying to set right.  It is also ironic that Chuck Colson gave himself to proving the worth and contribution of incarcerated criminals, and he is still remembered most as the Watergate guy.

 

Please don’t misunderstand me.  I lived through the Watergate years, and the breach of trust between our government and its people was horrible.  But Chuck did his time, and did his best to make things up to us.

 

The second thing that makes me sad is that the story of Chuck Colson’s prison ministry was somehow lost.  I see this as a lack of awareness of how a man reached down to the worst of the worst and showed them grace and hope.  It also ignores the difference he made in the lives of family members.

 

I think every life is important, and people’s stories should be told.  So I am really disappointed that Chuck Colson’s story was not given the attention it deserved.  Can you tell I am disappointed?  Maybe it will be in time.

 

Anyway, while we aren’t defined by our past, what we were and what we have become are both important.  Paul was well acquainted with regret and remorse, and he knew there were some things only the grace of Jesus could cover.  There was no way he could hope to be saved by the Law, even though he committed his crimes defending it. 

 

“Mercy”… Sometimes it is the only thing we have left to build upon.

 

Dear God, remind me what I was before I became who I am.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

About LJones

Minister and story teller.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s