What Don’t We Get About Grace?

People often misunderstand and misuse grace.  Because of grace, people think, God is numb to our sins…when we opposed God’s purposes.  We think then, particularly on the precipice of some kind of indulgence, that what we do doesn’t really matter because God will iron it all out.

But after our shameful thing we feel guilt, and we’re sorry.  So we go ask for forgiveness, go to church more, shovel the neighbors driveway, clean the house, go for a run…anything to stave off the guilt.  Once it’s gone, all is well.

This is the never ending cycle.  Use little caution…mess up…repent…feel better…carry on…use little caution.  Look, we’re going to mess up; but is there not a new trajectory that you can now aim?  Isn’t the point of grace not to sweat out the guilt but to actually turn around?

Micah 6:1–8
Hear what the LORD says:
Rise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD,
and you enduring foundations of the earth;
for the LORD has a controversy with his people,
and he will contend with Israel.

3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
and redeemed you from the house of slavery;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised,
what Balaam son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the saving acts of the LORD.”
6 “With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

*Vanderbilt Divinity Library. (2009). United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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