Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Grace Is Scary Stuff!
I wonder how I spent so many years as a Christian and heard so little about grace? It was rarely taught, preached, or even talked about during my early years. Did people not know about it or understand it - or were they just afraid of it? I pick "all of the above" but sadly recognize that fear was the major reason. It's still true today in some areas. Why after all, if you start teaching people that they are and can be forgiven for any sin they commit who knows what kind of ungodliness they might get into? Grace is scary! It messes up our ability to judge others and condemn them to hell. It really messes up our ability to distinguish between the big sins and the little sins...the dirty sex sins and the heart-level greed and pride sins...the socially acceptable sins and the Puritanical heathen sins! The fearful think grace means license! "You're telling people it's okay to sin because they'll be forgiven!" That's why the possibility of God forgiving divorce is so repugnant to some. "Why it's telling people that it's okay to destroy their marriage vows, because they can always just ask God for forgiveness and start all over again!" Does the old saying, "It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission" really wash with God? Paul said, "May it never be!" Grace isn't about license or liberty, at least as Paul was using it in Romans. It's about motivation! God is so good - so amazingly gracious - so loving and so forgiving - HOW COULD WE EVEN CONSIDER SINNING! The person who sees God's kindness as their personal Trump Card on sin is missing the bigger point! His grace cost too much to treat it so shabby! Grace is for the seeker not the swindler! It's not real grace to us until we are overwhelmed by God's love. Fortunately, God is bigger and grace is greater than our ability to understand it or live up to it, but then - that's what makes it grace.