When Love Begets Grace


This past week two things happened that left me thinking a lot about grace. A man, whom I respect and who is quite known for his words on life in the midst of ruin, had his whole world come crashing down around him. And last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states.

And while I have opinions on these matters that is not the reason for this post. I watched these stories polarize my communities. Don’t get me wrong dialogue is good. Talking about our convictions and hearing those of our brothers’ and sisters’ is what being part of community is all about.

What made me sad, what broke my heart is how our values, our need to be right eviscerated the gospel. This past week we trampled souls, trampled the hearts of God’s image bearers with pride and self-righteousness.

We all have convictions and for some of us those convictions run deep and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when we use these convictions to prescribe our own version of grace, when we use them to wave a placard of self-righteous indignation we forget the cost of the cross. We forget that Christ’s shed blood was for everyone.

The scandalous undeserving gift that was nailed to the tree was not for the perfect or the just, it was for the broken, the sick and the hurting.

Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that we’ve all fallen short. We’ve all experienced one moral failing after another but we’ve  forgotten that it is grace, not our convictions that save us. We’ve forgotten that we daily need to reach out and take hold of grace, however tenuous it may feel.

We all fail. We all will. It’s when we lose sight of how much we need Him that we find ourselves falling.

The only fall from grace happens when we stop believing grace is something we fall into and start believing it’s something we fall out of.

When we start believing our own need of grace we can live among our neighbors with the kind of love that begets grace.  We can begin to look past judgments and convictions and see only what God sees – broken hearts that need so much grace.

Jesus died on the cross not because we are righteous, he died because we are sinners. That’s the gospel! That’s the good news!  Our gift of grace came at a cost and the beauty of that gift was that the cost wasn’t ours.

The cost was nails ripping through flesh and a bare back laid open and raw with flogging. The extraordinary cost was thorns upon a sinless head. When Christ said “It is finished,” God whispered “Amen – so be it.”

So let’s start living our stories in the good news. Let’s be a people that wake up every morning and declare “it is finished.” Let’s be the kind of Christians that know the difference between convictions and grace.

Let us be a people called to a love that begets grace.

1 Comment

  1. Yes, Tonya. Yes. Thanks for writing this!!

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