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Weekly Devotionals

Friends that You Can Call

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”  So he hurried and came down and greceived him joyfully.  And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” – Luke 19:5–7

One thing that churches are good at is to teach what kind of sins that we are not supposed to commit and how not to do it. There are many teachings out there to help people stay away from mistakes, habitual sins and addictions. However, what we are not necessarily good at is what to do after the mistakes are taken place. Often we don’t know what to do or who to call for help, after our mistakes and shame. It is unfortunate that humans have been struggling to embrace our imperfections, our brokenness and selfishness. Since it is not a new struggle. It has been with us since the beginning of fall. The pride that we have to want to believe that only if we try hard, we won’t fall and we will be perfect. We are only to found the opposite of that belief that we have failed.

There are many reasons we fear failure but one profound knowledge is that we may be rejected by friends, family and community. The fear of judgment can freeze us to make a logical and wise choice in the face of our failure. Oh how often do we hear stories of cover-ups of Christian failures only to be found deceitful? The fear makes us to freeze and wear a facade to have that temporary acceptance. Of course, unfortunately, if our failures and mistakes are exposed, it’s very possible that we may be rejected by our loved ones and it may be painful. On the other hand, what a beautiful thing to have a friend that you can call in your shame and embarrassment and if acceptance and forgiveness are provided in that interaction, you will be the most privileged person to have a safe relationship like that.

It seems that people that made many mistakes and own shame tend to like to be around Jesus. Those people didn’t seem to be even allowed to be around Pharisees and the scribes, the ones that are supposed to know the love of God. However, Jesus, being God Himself, provided that melting-warm acceptance and empathy so that people with facades came Around Him and hung out with Him. Jesus is the Light and the Truth, in fact, His radiant light that reveals lies and darkness could have been painful for them, yet, they felt safe, to eat and drink around Him.

From the re-encounter with Peter and Jesus after Peter’s awful mistakes and betrayal, Jesus offers such a beautiful acceptance and love by cooking bread and fish for Peter. We get to see the glimpse of warmth and deep understanding of human soul in that scene.

Do you have a friend like Jesus? A friend that offers another opportunity in your darkness and mistakes? Are you a friend like Jesus? People with mistakes and failures like to be around you? May God’s unceasing love overflow through you.