The book Finding God in Unexpected Places by Philip Yancey is the subject of the letter U in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you’ve been following my blog, then you probably know that I am a Philip Yancey fan. His writing is clear, concise and insightful. He makes me thinks and challenges me.
I don’t remember how I came into possession of this book, but I am glad I did. The book is a series of individual vignettes, all self-contained, each one can be read separately without knowing anything about the others. I want to highlight one of those vignettes in my review.
It seems as though Yancey was having dinner with a long-time friend when the friend announced, that he was going to have an affair and wanted to know, from Yancey, if God would forgive him. Yancey, a bit taken back, as any of us would be, said something like, Will God forgive you? Of course He will, read your Bible. Yancey went on to talk about David and others in the Scriptures who sinned and were forgiven.
Then Yancey dropped the bombshell—The question is, will you want to be forgiven? Yancey went on to explain to his friend and us readers, that sin changes us and there is no guarantee that we’ll seek forgiveness on the other side of the sin. We may not want to be forgiven.
The wonderful thing about the gospel is can be summed up in the words of my friend and former pastor, Tommy Overton (whom I have quoted before) when he remarked, The Reality of the Gospel is that I am more sinful & flawed than I ever believed & I am more loved & accepted than I dared hope. Yancey’s point to his friend, and to us, is that we may not see ourselves as sinful and flawed and therefore have no need to be loved and accepted by God. Yancey’s words are a dire warning for anyone contemplating sin—for anyone flirting with sin, you can always turn back. Another former pastor, Scott Jackson, was fond of saying, in nearly every sermon, It’s never too late to do the right thing. May we take that to heart.