Second Thoughts

Have you ever had second thoughts about something? I’m sure you have. We make decisions based on impulse, peer pressure, public opinion, idealism, or what is expedient at the time. Twenty four hours later we wonder, “What was I thinking?”

So we slow down and consider. What was I thinking? And to answer that question after the fire and passion has subsided the answer may, or may not support our initial decision or choice. Second thoughts are essential for stability, a sense of assurance, and a confidence that we are where we want to be.

Christianity is riddled with people who had second thoughts on their journey to assurance or confident conviction. Thomas is the most famous, where he doubted what his friends the disciples said when they told him that Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to them. The story sounded weird and wonderful but Thomas couldn’t wrap his head around the logic. It didn’t make sense to him. What I love about God, and Jesus, is that they understood the challenge for Thomas. Rather than rebuking him Jesus appeared to Thomas a week later to help him process what could not be rationally thought through. No-one had ever risen from the dead before.

Christianity cannot be worked out intellectually beyond a certain point. How do you figure out a God who is personal, loves unconditionally, is Creator of the universe, and who knows every hair on your head, and every thought? It’s as crazy as imagining a five month old infant quoting Shakespeare or being the CEO of a Software company. The discrepancy between our limited and finite minds and the vastness of God is beyond imagining. Which is precisely why God so loved the world that he sent his Son – to bridge the gap and to meet us where we lived. Nevertheless, Christianity, to the uninitiated, can appear to be fanciful, wishful thinking, or a crutch for the weak.

It has always been that way. Which is why Luke, when he recorded his account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, said that he had researched his material. In Peter’s letter he asserted that they were not following a figment of their imagination but that what he was sharing was rooted in what they had seen and experienced as eye-witnesses. Both Luke and Peter wanted to assure their readers that they stood behind their words with personal experience with this one, Jesus, that was impossible to inscribe on parchment in a manner that made sense.

I don’t think much has changed down the generations. If people are to know the reality and love of God they need to experience truth in relationship, love without condemnation, and permission to question without rejection. The greatest damage to the Christian message(in my opinion) has been the disconnect between words spoken and character. Can we do a better job of encouraging second thoughts, questions, and discussion, while at the same time being able to declare’ we cannot help but speak of what we’ve seen and heard’?

Here’s a plea. For us to try and be open to questions, discussions, doubts, and all the tangle of what it means to be human wrestling with the reality of a loving God.

Lord, I Confess
That I’ve been a Criminal
I’ve Stolen Your Breath
And Sang my own Song
And Lord, I Confess
That I’m Far from Innocent
These Shackles I Wear
Oh, I bought on my own


These Scarlet sins
Had a Crimson Cost
You nailed my Debt
To that Old Rugged Cross
An empty Slate, at the Empty grave
Thank God that Stone
Was Rolled away


Lord, I Confess
I’ve been a Prodigal
Made for Your House
But I Walked my own Roads
Then Jesus came
He tore down my Prison Walls
Death came to Life
When He called me by name


(These) Scarlet sins
Had a Crimson Cost
You Nailed my Debt
To that Old Rugged Cross
An empty Slate, at the Empty grave
Thank God that Stone
Was Rolled away

And I can See it now
Smiling in Heaven,
You and I, You and I


And I see Bright, Crimson Robes
Draped over the Ashes
A wide, Open Tomb
Where there should be a Casket
The Children are Singing,
And Dancing, and Laughing
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming
Roses in Bloom
Pushed up from the Embers
Our rivers of Tears Flow
From good Times Remembered
Families are Singing,
And Dancing, and Laughing
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming
Heaven joins in with a Glorious Sound
And the Great Cloud of Witnesses
All gather Around
‘Cause the Ones that were Lost
Are Finally Found
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming

Scarlet sins
Had a Crimson Cost
You Nailed my Debt
To that Old Rugged Cross
An empty Slate, at the Empty grave
Thank God that Stone
Was Rolled away

Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming


And I see Bright, Crimson Robes
Draped over the Ashes
A wide, Open Tomb
Where there should be a Casket
The Children are Singing,
And Dancing, and Laughing
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming
Roses in Bloom
Pushed up from the Embers
Our rivers of Tears Flow
From good Times Remembered
Families are Singing,
And Dancing, and Laughing
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming
Heaven joins in with a Glorious Sound
And the Great Cloud of Witnesses
All gather Around
‘Cause the Ones that were Lost
Are Finally Found
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming


Scarlet sins
Had a Crimson Cost
You Nailed my Debt
To that Old Rugged Cross
An empty Slate, at the Empty grave
Thank God that Stone
Was Rolled away


Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
Oh Oh, Oh Oh, Ooh Ooh,
The Father is Welcoming
This is our Homecoming

John Cox

Christian Author and Counsellor

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