Hinged on grace
I am once again struck by the incomprehensibility of grace. Â God’s scandalous response to sin and death and hell is amazing grace. Â I fear I am too quick to deny grace in my own life, let alone in the life of anyone else; I tend to diminish it and push it away in my effort to not take it for granted. Â I forget that there is NOTHING that I can do or say that will ever make God love me less.
Similarly, when people ask how I am doing I tend to just give a thoughtless response of “fine” (not that they really want to hear a different answer); this stifles the real feelings and truth that might answer the question. Â Sin sounds stronger when we downplay its severity in light of God’s amazing grace. I am not saying that we should minimize sin at all; we are sinnersÂ BUT when we keep bringing up our failures in the same conversation it seems to interrupt the strength and power of divine grace. Â It is like pointing out all the runs Kershaw has given up rather than the number of strike outs he has pitched. Â It is a skewed perspective.
Further, I like how people tend to naturally downplay sin; how many times have I heard students say, “well, it’s not that bad” when referring to some moral failure they are trying to excuse. I am reminded of the time we played a game outside in the heat of an Arizona summer, and then fed the kids a salty snack. Â Afterward, they were naturally thirsty and Jim added some “pee” (urine) to the water cooler. Â Naturally the kids were mad and disgusted. Â The leaders went ahead and drank, responding, “It’s not that much” and “it’s not that bad”, because they knew that the “pee” was actually apple juice. Â It was a great learning tool, a teachable moment, to remind us all that any sin will pollute andÂ yet God, through Christ, can change everything.
Grace is what makes Christianity different from every other religious system. Â Everything hinges on grace.Â Sin is bad. Â Grace is greater. Â It is the final word of Jesus. It is without qualifiers. Â It cannot be overstated. Â It is outrageous. Scandalous. Redemptive.