If you come around here often enough, you know that grace is a familiar subject. Specifically: how God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, has supplied grace that is greater than ALL our sins. This grace costs us NOTHING, but it cost Him EVERYTHING.
Yep. It’s free for the taking.
But events in recent days gave me a little understanding of why Jesus said the world would hate us, just as it hated Him.
Because, to the world, grace is one big scandal.
One, we feel like we have to do penance! WE have to make amends! I have to pull myself up! Me! Me! ME!!!! We feel like we need to add to it, that it’s just too good to be true in and of itself, and that there must be SOMETHING we can do to earn it. So, one distortion is that of works based righteousness, which we’ve seen all throughout church history, including today. Guys, grace + anything else= works. Jesus paid it ALL. Our only part in it is to receive His gift.
The other option is that of the “I know I deserve grace, but surely not THAT guy!” You know what I mean. We’ve all done it. Grace is ok until we start saying it can apply to anyone that repents and turns to Jesus. That’s just going to far. But, once again, Jesus put no limits on who His grace could touch. This distortion can also lead to a rejection outright of grace as we say “No. This is just too much. If God will forgive (insert heinous offender here), I want nothing to do with God.”
But you know what’s so cool? God even reaches out His hand in grace to these very people, too.
So next time you’re wronged, in whatever way, shape, or form, remember that you’ve been forgiven MUCH, and forgive in return. Offer them grace, even if they hate you for it.
Because if they do, that means you’re a little bit more like Jesus.