Dangerous Grace

Grace. That word that frees the soul, yet frightens so many to the core. The very grace of God through Christ that offers us hope, forgiveness, and love tends to be twisted into a 'sin' and rejected by so many. Some believe that grace is our 'ticket' to the afterlife, but certainly not for life while we're still here on earth. So grace is only allowed for eternity and not for the everyday living?

It's grace that frees us from the bondage of the competition to be perfect. Christ is our perfection that He has given us. If we attempt to be perfect, we'll be running around chasing our tails. It's like the carrot dangling in front of a horse. We'll never get that kind of perfection in this life. Then we hear some people say that we shouldn't give up. Give up on trying to be perfect? Give up on being a perfectionist? I've tried being a perfectionist and it almost tore my family apart. That's when I realized...

grace is for the everday life

Such dangerous grace. That grace that allows me the freedom to not get so tied up in my perfectionism that leads me to not being able to rest at night if the baseboards aren't dusted yet. Grace, that dangerous word that shows me that I don't have to worry if I can't get the grease out of my husband's work pants. That utterly wreckless grace that releases me from having to punish my children if they don't get straight A's in their school work. When I realize that grace frees me from perfectionism, then it also releases my children from the bondage of a mother who insists that they be perfectly well behaved, totally compliant, robots. When my children fall short of my expectations it is then that I realize I am holding them to a standard that they can't live up to without fail. We all fail, but we can fail forward. Their failing forward teaches me to be gracious to them.

Grace, that word that frightens people. They're frightened that they'll fall. That's where faith comes in. The faith we have in Christ to keep us firm as we walk in grace. That's the difference. If we take grace as a reason to 'jump off a cliff' without faith, we'll certainly suffer the consequences. But is Jesus asking us to jump off a cliff? No, of course not. It's not 'jumping off a cliff' to hear rock music in the grocery store or western music when you're buy your husband work boots at the western outlet. If we think we're going to plummet into an abyss of sin when we walk by grace, then we are admitting we lack faith.

Grace, that word that seems hideous to some conservative women when other women work outside the home. That word that sends them into a frazzled fit of rage that emerges when a friend says her husband decided the kids would do better in the public school. Why do we live in such fear when The Victor lives within us? Are we denying the grace of Christ in our everyday lives? If we deny grace for ourselves, we're sure to deny it for everyone else around us. As a matter of fact, I think that when we see people refuse to allow us to speak of grace, walk by grace, or write about grace, they are actually admitting that they don't really believe in it.

It takes faith to walk by grace. If we don't have faith, then grace will continue to look like a hideous sin that you fear will send you into the abyss of utter darkness. But that's not the grace our Christ has brought us. He wouldn't bestow upon us GRACE if He thought it was going to destroy us.

Don't be afraid of grace, and don't let anyone frighten you away from it.

Colossians 1:27 Christ in you, the hope of glory
Douglas Falls by yoelcita, on Pix-O-Sphere

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{ martha brady } at: January 25, 2011 at 3:34 PM said...

AMEN! :) so true! love the tie-in of grace saving us from our perfectionism:) i can identify!

{ Sandra } at: January 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM said...

While I was a kid growing up in fundy Evangelicalism, the word "grace" had exactly one meaning: Jesus died when it was we who deserved death for our worthlessness. To me, then, grace meant Father God would rather kill his only Child than accept me as worthy of his love.

It wasn't until I de-converted into heathenism that I started realizing that "grace" in regular English and "grace" in religion didn't have to be incompatible. When I started to look around at how we use the word "grace" in our daily unchurched lives, I began to apply the same connotations to God's grace...

and my life slowly turned upside down.

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