Have Mercy!

nor'-east Someone asked me knowing what I know now what I would tell my sixteen-year-old self if I could go back in time.

Sixteen…Driving…High School…After school job…Kansas Bible Camp…Debate/Forensics (speaking tournaments not CSI type stuff)…Youth Group…

my review here I was the “good little Christian girl.” I carried my Bible to school. I helped lead a Bible Study (held off campus on Thursday nights). I spent summers working at Kansas Bible Camp. http://nhsevidencetoolkit.net/daitoshokovivian-campaign/article10526395/nhsevidencetoolkit.net/line://app/nhsevidencetoolkit.net/competitions/nhsevidencetoolkit.netshokuikuclub.jp I went to church every Sunday and since my church was too small for a youth group I went to Topeka Bible Church on Sunday nights for youth stuff. I prayed at See ya at the Pole events.

I looked great on the outside. Oh, but I missed out on something. Somehow I thought I was smart enough to figure out that I needed God. Everyone who hadn’t figured out they needed Jesus were less intelligent than me.

I stood in judgment of those who were not following Jesus. Instead of extending grace, I looked down. Instead of considering someone’s story, held them accountable for what I had experienced. Surely everyone heard of Jesus, surely they should know. I did not realize the depth of my need. Instead I decided who was worthy of God’s love.

I fear I pushed more away from God than towards Him. I behaved like a self-righteous Pharisee and I looked great on the outside, while on the inside I was a rotting corpse. I missed grace and mercy. I read James and didn’t apply verses like:

“Act and speak as those who will be judged by the law that gives freedom because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:12-13

I am grateful that God’s mercy extended to even me. I have since become aware that I am helpless and hopeless without Jesus. I am aware of the ugliness of my sin and my desperate need for grace and mercy. Since God has made me aware of this, I am more able to offer mercy and grace to others.

How about you? What would you tell your 16 year-old self?

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0 Responses to Have Mercy!

  1. D2 says:

    16 years old? Sophomore in high school…Bro Bob had only been at Eastside for four years, Karl Lorey was the worship pastor, Jackie Flake on discipleship, and Allen Elkins on youth if memory serves me correctly. On a sidenote, since I am volunteering to be a disciple for the Easter drama this year, I think Bryan Grimsley was our Jesus at the time.

    About to get a job at Carmike Cinemas, about to make the varsity team as a starter for states as a sophomore (it’s hard to describe how hard that is to do), taking my ACT (I think I scored a 32 as as sophomore), but lacking in true discipleship.

    I was a Sunday morning Christian. Going to church on Sunday mornings was good enough for me, it should be enough for God. The other six days of the week was filled with school, video games, or anime, with Saturdays typically eaten up by some kind of school activity.

    Oh yeah, I had no mercy back then, too. Once, I tried changing lunch tables to mix it up, so a friend of mine came along. I was told by one of the girls at the new table that I was cool, but my friend was not so I needed to move back to my old table. It’s kinda embarrassing to say this now, but I totally replied flatly, “You’re going to hell.”

    Three things I would tell my 16 year old self:

    1. Why so serious?
    2. You don’t have to know everything.
    3. It’s important to honor your mother and father, but it’s even more important to honor God first.

  2. Dajen says:

    For such a time as this… Selena Gomez sings “Live Like There’s No Tomorrow” – At 16, I would tell myself, “Live like there’s no more TODAY!” In light of God’s promises for tomorrow, make the most of today! Dwell in Him, walk with Him, rely on Him, conquer through Him! At 16, I was wishing for the future instead of appreciating the NOW! I couldn’t wait to get to college, and then beyond that, to finally be an adult and live REAL life! I opted to work more hours rather than participate in the school play. I missed out on the comraderie of building the yearly class float to complete homework. Instead of confronting certain evils in my world, I opted to avoid. Hmm… As a 34-year old wife and mother, am I taking my own advice now? Or do I still live in bit of a self-induced bubble? “As soon as the laundry is done and the floor is mopped, THEN I’ll go play outside with the kids…” Before I know it, my kids will be 16!

    • I was and still am about about that at times too friend. Praying we can remember to enjoy what is NOW and be thankful in the NOW…Also give ourselves permission to enjoy things. Sometimes I forget to do that. Thanks for commenting friend.

  3. Kim says:

    What a great post! At 16, I would tell myself the things that I am telling my children. You are beautiful, you are loved….Sometimes I wonder, where would I be if only I had known that I was loved? But, than I am quickly reminded, that I probable wouldn’t be where I am now. It has taken much time and healing, but I wouldn’t trade the trials and challenges of life for anything if it meant giving up the peace and understanding of the love of God.

    • Kim it is true that we learn through those difficult things we experience. I certainly wouldn’t change what I have learned the hard way. I just wish I could have learned it the easy way to begin with… 😉 Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  4. This post sounds like you were writing about the 16 year old ME! It was years before grace started to work it’s way into my heart. I would say years before I understood grace, but I still don’t! I have actually apologized to my best friend from high school (who is currently not following the Lord) for my ways back then. I had fears that she thinks that was what a Christian looks like so she didn’t want to be one. Thanks for sharing Angela!

    • I know I hindered my twin’s walk with the Lord. Hurts my heart to know I was instrumental in driving people away. 🙁
      Oh but God’s grace extends to even me. I am humbled. Thanks for sharing Amy.

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