Is grace too good?
Is grace too good? I’m not asking if grace is too good to be true. I believe it is true. At least what I can comprehend of it. The problems is, the more I meditate on grace and peel some of its layers, it seems to get bigger than it was when I began. I think grace gets clearer the more we examine it. But, at the same time, the subject enlarges and there is more to see, more to appreciate, and yes, more to find amazing about it. I am convinced that the more we become aware of the magnitude of God’s grace, the greater our hilarity will be (hilaros = boisterous merriment) over what God is doing for us. But is there a catch, like the one from TimeShare Travel offering 3 nights and 2 days stay for free at the Marriott of your choice?
Living in a world of “quid pro quo,” we regard and often value most highly what someone has done for us most recently. We’re all familiar with the phrase “You don’t get something for nothing.” We use the phrase, “What have you done for me lately” to determine if any type of merit or reward is to be extended. But how often are we on the receiving end or the dispensing end of something “good” . . . . . just because, period! Because of nothing. Not because it was earned or deserved or merited. Obviously, the world system doesn’t function that way. As Christians traveling through this world as “aliens,” we have both the capacity and the opportunity to make grace “happen” and stun the world.
Common sayings are now flooding my mind. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Heard that one? It’s true and it’s not true. For the recipient, lunch is free. Like grace. Like the gift of salvation. But behind every gift, including our salvation, there was a cost paid by someone. For many of us with regard to salvation and even in our day to day relationship with God, we feel we need to pay our way . . . at least help a little, do our “part.” But God isn’t into deals. No matter what we might have prayed or begged at our eleventh hour time of need, His response to us was grace. How would one bargain with the One who owns and holds it all, anyway? What do I have to offer God? And what could He possibly need? This human mindset that we have something God needs, mingled with a sprinkle of human pride, plays into another very problematic barrier we create in coming to God for salvation. We have this need to “contribute” something, to add something. That was the matter Paul had to contend with in writing to the Galatians.
I find that tendency at work in me, that evening of the score, paying my way, the “this for that,” “tit for tat” strategy of keeping things as close to “even” as possible. You buy my coffee so now I “owe” you. I need to get yours next time. That discomfort of receiving a gift or a favor and feeling I must now do something back in order not to be indebted. I suppose that is my human pride getting in the way. I find it more comfortable to give than to receive. When receiving, I feel awkward at times. Friends, with respect to God, we are always indebted and the debt is much more than we know. And that’s a good place to be. He understands. He is the Giver. He loves to do that and to impress that trait within His kids. What we can “give” back to God is gratitude, and allow Him to develop a lifestyle of generosity in us that gives to God and others from the overflow of grace within us, not the foolish flesh pattern of keeping the books balanced or performing to earn favor. Consider, even meditate upon how grace infiltrates your life each day, both by God and by others who love you. Think About It.