Friday, January 8, 2010

The Gospel According to Grey's...

I have a guilty pleasure in that I quite enjoy the television program Grey's Anatomy.  Now admittedly viewer discretion is advised as it doesn't always present the most righteous of behaviours. What I appreciate most about the program is that amongst all the drama and frivolous dribble, each episode presents a profound truth, in the form of a monologue.  Given the popularity of this program and the fact that I think these teachings are worth unpacking,  I have decided that each Friday I will make the subject of my blog one of Meredith's monologues.

"Remember when we were little, and we’d accidentally bite a kid on the playground? Our teachers would go, “Say you’re sorry.” and we would say it, but we wouldn’t mean it. Because the stupid kid we bit… totally deserved it. But, as we get older, making amends isn’t so simple. After the playground days are over, you can’t just say it, you have to mean it. As doctors, we can’t undo our mistakes, and we rarely forgive ourselves for them. But it’s a hazard of the trade. But as human beings, we can always try to do better, to be better, to right a wrong, even when it feels irreversible. Of course, “I’m sorry” doesn’t always cut it. Maybe because we use it so many different ways. As a weapon, as an excuse. But when we are really sorry, when we use it right, when we mean it, when our actions say what words never can… when we get it right, “I’m sorry” is perfect. When we get it right, “I’m sorry” is redemption."

Three little words that mean so much, "I AM SORRY" and yet for most of us they are harder to say than three other words "I love you".  I am sorry means having to admit we have messed up, it slaps us in the face with the fact that we are not perfect and leaves us vulnerable, giving control over to another person. However the words "I am sorry" can often hold more power for our relationships than even "I love you".

There are two great truths provided in this monologue.  The most profound of which is that when we get it right "I'm sorry" is redemption. In saying this Meredith has in essence summed up the gospel. The whole biblical story centers around redemption.  Redemption means to rescue, pay the ransom for, or deliver something to it's rightful owner. 

We all mess up, in both big and small ways. No matter who you are, or what you believe - you know this to be true.  Think of it, do you know even one perfect person? We hurt and betray people in a myriad of ways. The bible speaks of this when it says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23. There is always a price to pay for our  actions, sometimes it is immediate, other times the price is paid much later on.  When we hurt someone we love, we often experience some kind of isolation.  If we ignore it and don't ask for forgiveness we can ultimately experience separation or death of that relationship.   So too, are there consequences when we sin against God, the one who created us. God is just, who ,as a result, must judge sin and so we learn from the bible that the penalty for sin is death, eternal separation from Him - Hell.   More than this though God loves everyone and is full of grace, and wants that no one should be separated from Him.  So He sent His son Jesus Christ to pay our penalty, to die as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 6:23 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8 Jesus paid the price, taking our penalty upon himself, dieing defeating death and the power of sin, paying the ransom, once and for all."For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:26.  Jesus is the great REDEEMER who restores us to right relationship with God.  The only requirement is that we admit we have messed up, say "I'm sorry" and mean it, believing that Jesus came as the son of God to REDEEM us. "I'M SORRY IS REDEMPTION"

Getting it right as Meredith says, requires that you mean it.  It is one thing to tell someone we are sorry, another thing to mean it. The authenticity of the apology is evidenced by actions.  "When we mean it our actions say what words never can" The bible refers to this action as repentance.  Repentance is the action of turning away from the behaviour that has left you crying out for forgiveness.  So what does it look like when you get it right? It means admitting your guilt, saying "I'm sorry", making amends and restitution where applicable, and then a changing the behaviour and conduct.

No one can ever force a sincere confession or apology from us, it is always our choice and takes our initiative. But when we say "I'M SORRY", when we mean it as evidenced not only by our words but so too our actions, our relationships with family, friends, and ultimately our heavenly Father can be rescued - REDEEMED!

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