“Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. It is a self-existent principle inherent in the divine nature and appears to us as a self-caused propensity to pity the wretched, spare the guilty, welcome the outcast, and bring into favor those who were before under just disapprobation. Its use to us sinful men is to save us and make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” -A. W. Tozer (1897-1963)
This past week has been quite a learning experience for me, one that has caused me to rely on grace.
Just go back and read the post and comments directly before this one and you will see what I mean. I decided to share my opinion on and observation that I had about a certain media inludgance that is poplular right now and it went viral and spread like wildfire across the internet. I was neither prepared for the popularity of the post nor the comments that I recieved from people about what they thought of me and my views. While I’m no stranger to the world of blogging or some commenters enjoyment of attacking the writers of those blogs, it was a first for me since the majority of my audience was my family, friends, and a few twitter followers.
As I was thinking about this today I immediately thought of God’s grace. Why? Well, let’s take a trip through Brandon’s scattered brain and see how we got there, it’s not a long trip, so stick with me. One of the things that was mentioned quite often through those who opposed either my view or me posting my view was that I was being very judgmental and that I was not extending the grace that I should be as a follower of Christ. Now I will be the first person to admit I am quick to judge – I do it all the time, based on looks, words, speech, skin color, or sexual orientation – I judge sometimes, too often. I would dare to say we all do at some point or another because it’s a quick, pleasurable reaction to others different than us – we try not to but we still do.
Still with me? OK, good. I was also thinking that people will never to be able to fully know me through one post and I will never be able to fully understand a person through one quick, trite comment that is hurtful. Did I judge some of those commenters as soon as I read them? You bet I did. I let some of them get to me, took some of them too personally, and was quick to judge those who wrote them. I also remember this: I have a God who overflows with grace. (See I told you we would get there.)
I sin every single day, usually more than once, and have to repeatedly rely on God’s grace to get me through that day and seek forgiveness. And you know what? He is waiting patiently, even expectantly, to run to us with the grace He so freely gives. You know what? That same grace is there for the commenters who didn’t have nice things to say about me. That same grace is there for those who indulged in the media that I talked about in my last post. That same grace is there for the convicted murderer on death row. That same grace is there for the liar, the theif, the adulterer, and any other wrongdoer that you can think of. Why? Because God’s grace is not a judge of character but is freely there for any who are willing to accept it.
Do we do what we want then and indulge in things knowing full and well it is wrong because we know that grace is there for us to cover a multitude of sins? Absolutely not, we should never cheapen the one thing that cost so much to give to us freely. But we do need it every single day because we are human and we sin, but we are chased by a loving God who is waiting to pour it on us whenever we need it because it’s what He longs to do, it’s what He sent His Son to earth for, and it’s what we are to offer those around us.
What is grace to you? What’s a time that you were offered grace or you offered grace to someone else?