Monday, January 14, 2013

What Is This Grace?

"The fact that even some Christians fail to grasp the radical nature of God's unconditional love suggests just how deeply we humans are embedded in a world ruled by law, expectations, duty, control and obedience."~Mark Galli, Focus on Grace, Not Control

I saw an article on Facebook about parenting with the focus on grace rather than control.  For several reasons, it immediately caught my attention.

The title of the article by Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, is Focus on Grace, Not Control.  When I read the title, my mind immediately thought (in summary), grace and not control?  How will a child learn right and wrong if all they know is grace when they disobey That is just parents giving in to their children and not keeping control.  I knew I had to read it.  I wanted to know the author's perspective on grace in parenting.  Granted, my intent was not initially pure, but before I reached the end, I was thinking to myself, ah, yes, I am relating to what he is sayingGrace is so important.  Why, then, is it so difficult for me?

Mark Galli contrasts the legalism that appears in many conservative, Christian homes to the grace displayed all through the Gospels by Jesus and throughout the New Testament as instruction for how we, the body of Christ, should treat others.  Galli mentions the inclination humanity has to rules and regulations, which, if you think about it, is an odd attraction considering the affect rebellion has on humanity, as a result of the fall.  However, the point is, grace is everywhere, from Genesis to Revelation, yet so often Christians fail to grasp it.

I am one of those Christians.  I like rules, except when I don't.  I usually follow rules, except when I speed.  Of course, I want grace extended to me.  Why, then, do I fight showing grace to others?  I want justification, retribution, people should pay for the wrong they have done, especially when they have wronged me.  But, if Jesus took that approach, I would have no hope of salvation.  I would be damned to Hell for all eternity.  How thankful I am that Jesus shows me grace every day, even when I struggle (or fail) to recognize it or accept it.

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