Grace, The God Who Is More

 

Man stands by the edge of the water.  Landscape of a mountain stream.

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Bono, U2

All of life teaches us to earn.  We earn a paycheck, a grade, or even a reward… all are based on our performance.  Performance, Performance, Performance.  When it comes down to it, our culture says, “This is what matters.” Parents, marriages, workplace, churches, and all the rest wraps itself in rewards. Society shouts performance. Evaluations by peers and evaluation of ourselves is all blanketed in performance.

And so, when we come to an understanding of grace, it is not surprising that we hiccup!

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Active Spirituality

Note:  I did not write any of the below.  All that follows is being used with permission.   This post is my recommendation that you buy Brian Hedge’s new book.

In Active Spirituality, Brian Hedges allows us to read someone else’s mail. In a series of warm pastoral letters, written to a young Christian, he dives into the paradox of grace and effort in the life of faith. Is my Christian life about trying or trusting? Would I describe my relationship to God as running or resting? Is my life more characterized by grace or effort? Hedges makes it clear that it is both: trying and trusting, running and resting, dependence on grace and exerting disciplined effort. This balance is not about getting my doctrine right, but is key to living a healthy Christian life. So pull up a chair, settle in, and read over Chris’s shoulder as he tries to find a church, overcome discouragement, live a chaste life, and develop a plan for spiritual growth, all while learning to rest in the finished work of Jesus.  

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