October 5, 2011

10w-40 Forgiveness

A minister whom I respect recently said at his son's baptismal service:
Forgiveness is the oil that lubricates the gears of the church.

I like that analogy. I think it is fitting for several reasons:

This engine must have oil to keep us safely in the air.
  • Oil is crucial to the continued operation of a motor. It will run dry for a time, but not for long.
  • The destruction of a dry motor, while catastrophic, is not sudden. From the moment the oil runs dry, the damage begins, and it progressively loses power as parts wear and overheat until it cannot overcome its own burden and succumbs to exhaustion.
  • The destruction comes entirely from within. A dry motor destroys itself. No outside force or energy is required. The dry motor's designed performance is the bane that wrecks it.
  • All the parts of an engine are necessary for full power production, and even seemingly insignificant parts can start the trend of destruction.
  • The damage is comprehensive and permanent. Every bearing part, no matter how small, is capable of causing and sustaining damage, either from direct abrasion or the heat of two nearby conflicting parts. If that damaged part is removed for use in another engine, it will carry the damage with it. A damaged part will test even the ability of the oil to maintain smooth operation. Only a completely rebuilt part is suitable for functional use.
So is the church, in every point. Without a passionate commitment to forgive one another, the progress of destruction and overheating is inevitable. It might seem like smooth sailing for awhile, but soon enough the heat will come, smoke will roll, and the noises that come from a church dry of grace will cause passers-by to remark: "That's the end of that one."

Lord, teach us to relentlessly forgive.

Note: While I like to use synthetic oil in my engines, I don't recommend it's use in the church. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Yesirr! Thanks for the eloquent and accurate reminder.