Thursday, May 20, 2010
Good for Nothing
Grace can really mess with your head if you if you take it too seriously. A little grace is good: it gives a reason why Jesus had to die on the cross and a place to turn for comfort when we fail.
But if you pursue grace much further than that it can really start to mess with your head. After all, what good is there from going to church every Sunday if God is going to grant the same salvation to someone who loves Him but loves the Sunday paper even more? What's the benefit of resisting the urge to cheat on your exams or even on your spouse when God's only going shower the same forgiveness on every repentant liar who comes groveling back to him when the regrets start to hit?
If you allow too much grace into your life it starts to erode things. Pretty soon even fine upstanding church-folks (like you and me) find we don’t have a leg to stand on. Things start to crumble.
And. from the Bible's point of view, that's probably good. In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul is pretty clear on the fact that everyone is going to crumble towards something. He calls it being “slaves” either to sin or slaves to God. Keeping our distance from grace means keeping our distance from God. Some of God’s greatest blessings come when He leads us to crumble before Him, whether we want to or not, as the seedlings of His new life begin to shoot through the dirt in our hearts.
If being good is really good for nothing, then most of us probably don't have a leg to stand on. But then again, maybe we don't need a leg to stand on.
The gospel of Jesus Christ has always been based on the outrageous idea that God loves us more than we can, uh...stand. We want to put our best foot forward to make a good impression in heaven's eyes, but God seems to have arranged things so we never really get the chance to get that best foot in the door. Instead He reaches out to draw us...with a nail-scarred hand. The church of Jesus Christ has always been a haven of people who limp in without a leg to stand on. That's why I seem to fit in, for instance.
When was the last time you felt crazy-loved by God?