Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There Is No Resale On Salvation - A ramble about baseball and feelings of condemnation

I don't know if I've said this before, but like I've said before, I don't know a lot of baseball fans in Nashville. To clarify, I don't know if I've said the phrase "Like I've said before, I don't know a lot of baseball fans in Nashville." But I'm almost certain I've used the phrase "I don't know a lot of baseball fans in Nashville" at least once.

Now that we're clear on what I mean, let's get to it. I don't know a lot of baseball fans in Nashville. So you might understand my excitement when my wife announced she wanted to play fantasy baseball. "I want to learn the game so I can appreciate it with you." Tell me that isn't the sweetest. I dare you.

I created a moderately low-competition league with some of our friends so she didn't have a lot of pressure and feel like a failure. She took charge of planning the live draft party. Our friends let us know what they planned on bringing to the drink and snack table.

Then draft day came. After cleaning the house and setting up the living room, I realized no one had mentioned bringing anything to drink. I called the one friend who hadn't already told us what he planned on contributing. When I asked him what he was going to bring, he paused. He wasn't sure what to bring and asked if we needed anything. I told him we were drinkless. He said he'd take care of it.

When I hung up, a bell went off in my brain and I asked my wife, "Did I just tell him to bring something when he might not have planned on bringing anything?"

"Yes, you did."

I immediately called my friend again and told him not to feel obligated. He said not to worry, he wanted to contribute but didn't know what to bring until I called. No matter how my times he said I wasn't rude, I still felt like a jerk and bought drinks as well. "Rudeness guilt," I explained to my wife.

Yeah, that was a long story for a point as small as this: I feel bad when I make mistakes. Who doesn't, right? But I've written a couple of posts quoting Romans 8:1 and still don't always remember the words. "There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus."

None? No guilt?

The truth is only Jesus has lived a life without mistakes. Luke 4 shows him resisting all kinds of understandable temptations. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus understands our mistakes because he went through every kind of temptation. He had every opportunity to make the same mistakes we've made. Maybe not specifically making rude assumptions prior to a live draft, but surely rudeness in general.

When Jesus died and got up, he paid the price for all of our failures. Who tries to buy something after someone has already bought it? Salvation isn't resale. The price was paid once and for all time. So it's not our behavior which makes us good, but our trust in what Jesus already did for us.

I think conviction should motivate us to do things differently, but condemnation encourages something else. Condemnation drives us to use will power. It makes us strive and fail over and over. It makes us feel more and more condemned. Paul wrote about this cycle in Romans 7.

So yeah, rudeness guilt is silly. Next time, I'll just apologize and learn from my blunder.

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