I ascribe to my father’s philosophy, “Life is a pathway with ditches on either side. Stay out of the ditches.”
Grace is the path I am exploring this morning. For some of us raised in a legalistic household, guilt can be a familiar companion; feeling like you don’t measure up and God is disappointed. And that is where grace comes in. “He doesn’t love you because you have performed well. He loves you simply because he loves you.”
What exactly is grace? Unconditional love towards someone who does not deserve it; the opposite of karma, or the cycle of cause and effect, in which good or bad actions determine one’s future, i.e., you get what you deserve.
So, with grace being a comfortable companion for the road, lack of grace one ditch, what would be the opposite ditch? Answer: cheap grace, found mass marketed in many churches.
Cheap grace is “represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits.” You may have heard it said, “once saved, always saved,” translated, “I will always be forgiven, I’m free to live.”
Grace, however freeing, is costly. It cost Jesus his life and calls us to follow Him. “And what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us” (Dietrick Bonnhoffer).
May you find the grace you need for your path.
A Small Book for the Anxious Heart: Meditations on Fear, Worry, and Trust (Edward Welch, 2019)
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