Friday, October 14, 2011

An Excuse Called Grace

"Christians use grace as a blanket under which to hide all their sins."


I've written on this topic before, but it keeps rearing its ugly head. Many non-believers don't see grace as a free gift from God, but rather an excuse Christians use to cover bad behavior. My conversation with an unchurched friend of mine reminded me that this view of grace is very common.

When I've broached this topic with believers I often get the same response - "Don't look to people, look to Jesus." I remind you that the lost are looking to us hoping to SEE Jesus!

I'm going to try to put this in terms we all understand. I know quite a few vegetarians. In fact, I grew up in a meat-free home. Imagine knowing your best friend is a vegetarian, but one day you go out to dinner and he orders a steak. A few days later, you have lunch and you're surprised to see him order a big, juicy burger with all the toppings.

Your friend still tells people he's a vegetarian, but you doubt his commitment–what with all the meat eating. So, you question your friend about his commitment to the lifestyle. He responds with something like this: "Don't look to me, look to the vegetarian philosophy for truth and enlightenment. I'm not perfect, just forgiven."

After watching your friend enjoy a few slabs of prime rib, you finally realize he's NOT a vegetarian. He might want to be. He may claim to be. But, he's not. Does that seem judgmental? Not at all. He talks the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk.

If you consistently gossip, cheat on your taxes, lie to your boss about being sick, judge others, harbor angry bitterness, refuse to forgive, or are filled with pride and think yourself better than others, you might not be a Christian. You might want to be. You may claim to be. But you might not be.

Grace is a gift that God offers you and me. It is an honor for us to show grace to someone else who might be going through a valley of trial or temptation. It is not an excuse we pull out of our back pocket for our unChrist-like antics. 

Like it or not, people are looking to us for hope. They want to see Jesus. I know we're not perfect and they know we're not perfect. When we mess up we need to 'fess up.

Get off the pew of excuses! 


  1. Thank you for writing this post. I have been on a journey asking God why things were not going the way I thought they should and God said 'it's you'. Imagine my surprise and shock. I could not blame anyone or anything else, and you want to know the reason why? Because I had given my life to Christ, meaning my sins were forgiven, I have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and am no longer a pariah to the Father in Heaven. I did not understand that I have to 'change' or should I say want to change. When I finally wanted to see change in my life, He then started to open my eyes to His Grace, which is sufficient. I had to admit that I liked doing wrong things (transgression of sin), not because of the devil, but because I liked doing wrong things and those wrong things had become habits of convenience. Now, I can no longer look outward, but inward. Finally realizing that I need a savior to save me from myself and the path of destruction that I was on.

    It was at that moment of true weakness (pride was gone out the window), that I accepted the 'Grace' to strive toward the mark of the high calling that I was called to. The Narrow path that leads to life. It's a scary trip but I would rather take the narrow way knowing that if Jesus Bids me to come, I can even walk on water. And it doesn't matter if I start to fall, He's always there to lend a hand, I just have to get out the boat.

  2. Thank you for your encouraging letter and transparent comments. It is in our weakness that we then become empty vessels that can be filled with God's abundant grace and strength.

    When we cover up our mistakes, we deny others the opportunity to see the miracle of reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness.