Whenever we do everything right, make all the right decisions, and take all the proper steps to do anything in life, our expectation is that all will work out perfectly. If you stay in school and study hard, you expect to get good grades and graduate. If you show up to work every day, punch in and punch out, and do all of your work, you get a paycheck at the end of the pay period. If you are kind to others typically you will receive kindness in return. These are simple principles that anyone can follow, and there are also biblical principles to be followed as well. Give and it’s guaranteed that you will receive. Make yourself friendly, and you will have friends. Obey the commandments of God, and you will be blessed. Sounds simple enough right? However, I’ve found that there can be a certain level of pride and self-righteousness that comes along with doing everything just right. At some point we can start to think that we are the ones that cause great things to happen to us based on our good deeds. We can easily look back at our accomplishments and pat ourselves on the back.
So crossing all of our “t’s” and dotting all of our “i’s” will probably get us a pretty good life, but more likely than not we would end up depending on ourselves and not God. There is an element to life and salvation in Christ that is a complete and total game changer. That element is grace. Grace kicks in for the many times that we do not get things right, for those moments and instances where we feel like we’ve done everything wrong. Maybe we haven’t done everything wrong, but deep down we know we’ve done something wrong or at the very least we haven’t done everything right. Grace is a gift given to us by a loving God. A God who knew that no matter how hard we tried, we could not get everything right. We were born with a nature to do the opposite of what is right, and He knew that we would need help. If doing the right thing has the propensity to produce pride, doing the wrong thing has the ability to produce shame. Grace takes the shameful part of our incorrect actions and gives us what we know we do not deserve. There is nothing more humbling than having God…or anyone for that matter…continue to be good to you, even when you are not good to Him. Grace is mysterious, all consuming, healing, encouraging and powerful. Grace at its highest expression has a beautiful way of taking all of our wrongs and making them right.
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