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As a child I was taught that I was a sinner (just because I existed!), and so I frequently prayed for God to forgive me for being so rotten. I later learned that we are punished BY our sins, not for them; that is to say, choices have natural consequences, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, for every effect there is a cause. So, rather than begging God to forgive my supposed wretchedness, I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and outcomes. But even that can leave us feeling guilty when we seem to be “stuck” in life. Into the mix, let’s inject the concept of grace…unmerited favor. The opposite of original sin, grace is the idea that we are GOOD simply because we exist. And if we are good, then we deserve good in our lives. We’ll make mistakes, and we’ll pay for some of them, but no one is keeping score. We can learn from our mistakes and move forward embracing more hope and joy in life. Thank God for grace!
by Rev Durrell Watkins, MA, MDiv, DMin
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