You might be thinking it seems too good to be true. To that I will simply say, yes, it does seem that way. Most things that seem too good to be true probably aren’t true. Except this. When you get to the point of wondering if this lavish grace is too good to be true, then you have gotten the point.
The result of someone getting the point is never, ever permission. It is never passive or lazy or apathetic. If it is, then the point has not been made. True reception leads to gratitude, service, worship. I have never been more energized than when I began to understand the fullness of his grace. Because it was not an energy that came from me and my try-hard performance. It was an energy that came from his life in me.
Still, it always seems like people are afraid to talk about grace too much. I notice this particularly with adults as it relates to teenagers. If you teach too much grace, the kids will abuse it. They’ll use it as an excuse. Yes, there is that. I’m never sure what to say when people say that, because of course there is risk. Isn’t everything good risky? We love, even at the risk of rejection. We give to those who can’t give back. We pray for those who will never know. Why would we withhold extending grace because someone might take advantage of the freedoms? Of course they will.
Yesterday, I was so pleased to read an interview with Andy Stanley about his new book, The Grace of God. Finding it couldn’t have come at a better time for this series.
“The church, or I should say, church people, must quit adding the word “but” to the end of our sentences about grace. Grace plus is no longer grace. Grace minus is no longer grace. We are afraid people will abuse grace if presented in its purest form. We need not fear that, we should assume that . . . Of course grace will be abused. But grace is a powerful dynamic. Grace wins out in the end. It is not our responsibility to qualify it. It is our responsibility to proclaim it and model it.”
You can read the entire interview on Michael Hyatt’s blog, and I highly recommend that you do.
We have 3 days left of these days of grace. There are 28 behind us. If there is only one thing you take away from this series, let it be this: grace is getting something I don’t deserve. That’s it. Because Someone came and lived a perfect life so I don’t have to. Someone came so I could walk around free even though I’m guilty. I’m Jean Valjean with a bag full stolen silver, and then The Bishop gives me the candlesticks, too. Someone took a risk on me, and he didn’t wait until I appreciated or understood it. His name is Jesus. His name is Grace.