A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Three Strikes

Posted on: November 21, 2014

Familiar with the definition of insanity—the one where a person does the same thing over and over and yet expects a different result?

I’ve been living it out on a small scale lately.

Three times I’ve ordered the same dish from a restaurant I liked. The first time, the food was so spicy it made my lips burn and upset my stomach. The second time, there were few vegetables and the protein looked like it had seen better days. And the third time was not the charm. With heartburn on the horizon, I swore off visiting this restaurant again. Three strikes, and it’s out.

Thankfully, God doesn’t work on a “three strikes” rule. He gives us second, third and fourth chances, and many more. God’s way is the definition not of insanity, but of compassion.

When we make poor choices—acting out of anger, frustration, loneliness, and so on—he offers us forgiveness, if only we’ll ask for it.

sleepy kitties

Loki let Skittles snuggle up to him, even though Skittles often nipped at him, pestering him to play. That’s forgiveness.

When we say hurtful things and think unkind thoughts, forgiveness is ours for the asking.

When we ignore the right path and choose our own, we can still seek his forgiveness.

And even though we come to him in need over and over again, he keeps offering his love and mercy and compassion.

Think about Peter’s question about forgiveness in Matthew 18:21-22*:

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

This is the mercy God offers us. The kind of mercy we need to extend to our children, spouse, family, friends, and neighbours.

I pray that we would give thanks for the love and mercy and compassion God shows us, and that we would grow in these qualities and in our capacity for showing them to others.

The LORD passed before [Moses], and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy and faithfulness . . . .”

~ Exodus 34:6

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)



1 Response to "Three Strikes"

Dear A Catholic Convert In Ottawa,
“capacity for showing them [mercy] to others.” This is an awesome message. Thank you.

God bless,

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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