The greatest mark that the gospel leaves on a soul is not the capacity to never get it wrong, but the capacity to incarnate grace, forgiveness, and community in imperfection.
This can only occur when we have a more developed understanding of how the Gospel brings renewal and recreation to the events and relationships of our lives have shaped our own weaknesses and flaws, than any insight into with weaknesses and flaws of others.
From Diary Of A Pastor’s Soul:
I’ve spent years of ministry watching my parishioners constantly make another choice about their employment, who they would love, and where they would live – thinking that they would change their lives through these choices. But they were just rearranging the living room furniture. For real change they have to deal with their Creator, who can redeem the hurts of what they received from family and transform them into a mission worthy of their lives. We never get to create our own lives.
Diary Of A Pastor’s Soul, M Craig Barnes, Brazos Press, 2020, pgs 74-75.