Second Chances


Nick told me about his alcohol addiction and an eating disorder. Last year he went into a treatment centre for three months; he’s been clean now for nearly a year.

‘I’m never going back there again,’ he said. ‘I’ve got too much to lose. I’ve got seven grandchildren; I want to see them grow up. I’ve been given a second chance and I’m going to make the most of it.’

Cathy’s teenage daughter, Emma has recently started going out with Harry. Emma and Harry were in a relationship in the past, but it ended when Harry treated Emma really badly…

Single parent Cathy’s faced with a dilemma. To oppose the relationship could alienate Emma. She’s decided to give Harry a second chance – and ‘kill him with kindness’. So far it seems to be working.

I read about former New York pastor Carl Lentz. In 2020 he admitted to being unfaithful to his wife, and was dismissed by his church… leading to pain, humiliation and embarrassment.

He took responsibility for his actions and fought to rebuild relationships with his wife and children. It’s good to read: ‘Although we have a long way to go… we have found ourselves in a beautiful, happy and deliberately honest place.’

His family have given him a second chance… can or should his church?

We watched the play ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’. It tells the story of Nuri and Afra’s journey from war-torn Aleppo in Syria to the UK. It focuses on the traumatic experiences of war, displacement and immigration… raising issues about social justice, identity and belonging.

We saw beyond the statistics and stereotypes of refugees to ordinary people, with marriage and mental health problems, who desperately need a second chance…


…Biblical characters…Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Jonah… men held up as examples… failures given a second chance…

…Jesus who taught and practiced giving second (and third, fourth, fifth…) chances

…The repeated failure of ‘the church’ to give second chances…

…My personal challenge…

2 thoughts on “Second Chances

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