Grace is a really hard concept for most of us to understand. This is especially true in our society, one based so heavily on economics. We produce and we consume. We achieve, perform, and accomplish, and we get what we earn. The old saying, “He made his bed, now he has to sleep in it,” follows our society’s economic idea: we get what we deserve. The economy of grace is so different it is sometimes hard for us to understand and accept. God says, “You made your bed, now I will sleep in it; you take mine.” This seeming unfairness is hard to accept, even more so when we see it offered to someone who seems less deserving than ourselves. It has been said that “without grace, almost everything human declines and devolves into smallness, hurt, and blame.”
On one hand, grace makes life larger and our salvation possible. But on the other hand, grace scares people, because what if someone gets something they don’t deserve? What if they get more than someone else does? More than I do? Often it feels like we should hold the reins of grace tightly, as if we could control God’s gift. Don’t agree? Watch how nervous Christians get when someone suggests that a person from another group or belief system might be in heaven. Recently I saw a quote on Facebook regarding a great spiritual leader of years gone by. Someone wrote, “Too bad he won’t be in heaven; I’d like to visit with him.” End of discussion. Judgment made. See what I mean? Ohhh, let’s live gracious lives and leave the judging to God. I believe that because of God’s grace I will see that person in heaven. After all, that’s the only way I will get there.
Photo credit: Julie Escobar