There, But for the Grace of God, Go I

Wis 1:1-7 / Lk 17:1-6

Pick a year, any year, in any century, and the story won’t vary much. The full range of scandals will be there, distressingly visible, everything from abuse of power to abuse of helpless children. Jesus was surely right when He said, “Scandals will inevitably arise.” What remains to be seen is how we react when they do arise.

Perhaps the most common reaction is sadness, which can all too easily evolve into discouragement and despair, or even downright cynicism. To allow that to evolve inside our hearts is to allow evil to seize the field and to prevail, which is neither necessary nor Christian.

Another understandably common reaction is shock, which, however, may well be concealing just a little of the same scandalous leanings inside our own characters. It’s wise to be wary when we find ourselves carrying on just a bit too much about someone else’s sins!

But isn’t there some way of deriving good from all the ugliness? I think there is. We can speak the truth, and the truth for every one of us is: There, but for the grace of God, go I! That kind of honesty before God is the real meaning of humility, and it opens the door to God’s grace and to growth as well.

Remember that the next time that scandal burdens your heart.