I have been told that the deeper one goes in his walk with Christ, he is aware of the need for a deeper application of the Gospel to his life. My experience would support this idea. The closer I get and the better I understand Jesus, the more I see my need for grace.
But the deeper I go in my walk with Christ, I also find that there is in me a stubborn and deep seated resistance to the application of the Gospel. In brief, I have the desire to work hard enough and be perfect enough to not need grace. I want to be above criticism.
At the same time that I give mental assent to Romans 3:23 (“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”) I can be disconnected from the implications of that truth. I resist grace because I want to create the illusion that I don’t need it.
Of course I know that this is self deception in its purest form. It does not take more than a moment’s observation to see that none of us lives up to our own standard. We grade on a curve and still fall short.
Just think of how often we use the word “ought” with reference to how our behavior should be different. I ought to eat more vegetables. I ought to be more disciplined in how I spend my time. I ought . . .
The point is that I very much do need grace, lots and lots of it. I don’t want to need it but I do need it.
Thankfully, Paul reminds us in Romans 5:20, “but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (NASB). And later in the same letter, Paul tells us that if we are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1).
The grace of Christ is always more powerful than my imperfection. And, that grace is freely given. I do not have to worry about whether my next failure has used up my full allotment of grace.
I don’t want grace (or at least I don’t want to need grace) but I am eternally grateful that it has been given to me.
What about you? Your thoughts are always appreciated. Feel free to comment below.