My Uncle called me yesterday. It made my day. Each of your comments are precious to me and I treasure the dialogue that this platform gives us, but hearing "thanks" from a family member--someone I know personally and admire--is just a bit sweeter. During our conversation, we talked about how the older we get, the more we realize different things that really matter in life. I was holding the phone, talking to a guy who tragically lost his wife, the love of his life, the mother of his two young sons. A guy who appears to not only be surviving, but THRIVING. That's a different kind of grace, the grace to hold on. It is still messy...and wonderful...and unique...and beautiful.
Later in our chat, we got on the topic of "Cheap Grace" and how so many people think that my non-conservative theological bent cheapens the work that Jesus Christ did on the Cross. Folks who haven't had the same realization that Uncle Pete and I have had. Folks who still think that unless they beat themselves up and judge and criticize everyone else when failure happens, they aren't living for the "high calling". Folks who think that perfection is attainable and that it's the goal.
Newsflash: perfection is NOT attainable and is NOT the goal.
Regarding "Cheap Grace", my view is just the opposite! I think that if we do not take hold of grace every single time we mess up, it is then that we cheapen His work on the Cross. Jesus Christ didn't die so that we could reach perfection on this side of eternity. He died the death of a criminal. Almighty God humbled Himself to human form and was tortured and ripped apart for one reason: reconciliation. His ultimate goal was re-connecting with the children He is so passionately in love with. He died so that every single time we fail...AND WE WILL FAIL...that we can simply say the name "Jesus" and He will save us. He saves us from our sins, our anguish, anxiety, fears, hurts, and every struggle that we'll ever face. And that salvation never runs out. Ever.
It doesn't mean that we don't try. We should try our best, every moment of every day. But we will never ALWAYS succeed at this walk toward Christ. There are potholes, hairpin turns, and traffic jams along the way. But don't worry about those things--the only step Christ Jesus wants you to be concerned with right now is the one step that He has placed before you today.
When we focus more on goodness than grace, we get it all wrong. It's not about our goodness. There is no one good. It is all about His grace.
The Bible is clear that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.
His grace wasn't cheap, and I don't want to ignore it by trying to clean myself up.
Remember: the only step Christ Jesus wants you to be concerned with right now is the one step that He has placed before you today. And that is a step toward His wonderful, beautiful, messy grace.