The Art of Being Wrong.
Two days ago, we thought there was enough water in the Robinson River for a leisurely canoe ride. Wrong. Yesterday, we thought an 8.4-mile bike ride would work out the soreness in our leg muscles from “horsing” our canoe through the many places we had become grounded. Wrong again.
I spent a lot of my life being Wrong. Me — a “serial sinner” who made Being Wrong into an art form. My mother (or is it all mothers?) used to say, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Like doing something we know is wrong and then lying about it as a cover-up. That was my specialty.
I wasn’t just wrong in the things I did. I was wrong in the things I thought… the things I felt… the things I embraced. But maybe — no, certainly — these are all inextricably intertwined.
“… how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34)
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
But there was one time — one impossible and glorious time — when two wrongs did make a Right. A Right that changed my life forever.
The two “wrongs” were the thoughts (lies) I had embraced that undergirded my Serial Sinning. “If I turn to God, He will never forgive me.” After all, the evil I had committed in my life was unforgivable… right? WRONG. “Even if He did forgive me, He could never fix (heal, change) me.” After all, a “serial sinner” is terminally broken… right? WRONG.
By the miracle of Your Grace, Lord, I surrendered those two wrongs to You one glorious, impossible day… and began to see what You could do — what You can do — with any life bent on pursuing the Art of Being Wrong. How You — and You alone — can turn such ugliness into a unique masterpiece of matchless beauty.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — this is not from yourselves, it is the Gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork [masterpiece], created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)
I do not take Your Grace lightly, Lord. I am not proud of the “artwork” I used to habitually create when my sense of “beauty” was warped. Nor am I proud of my stumbles since You “fixed” me (forgave me and made me Your daughter) and You began to change me and heal me and teach me what True Beauty really is. Instead, I am filled with AWE and JOY that You would take a serial sinner like me (like any of us?) and turn me into one of the “saints” who loves You and is seeking to serve You, the God of Everything Right!
“… you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
I have always been a “paint-by-numbers” kind of artist, at least on paper. But what about on the “canvas” (the hearts and minds) of those who still long for You, but don’t yet know it? Forever and moment-by-moment, You are my Teacher — the Master who holds my hand and guides my every brush stroke… as I grow in surrender to Your artistry. So I paint on, as the student who relies on the greatest “paint-by-numbers” tool in the Universe: Your Word! You, Jesus (the Living Word) and the Bible (Your Written Word)!!!
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a)
Painting with passion,