I am so excited about the day in which we live. It seems that people are starting to understand the importance of the church being all about restoration and grace. Christians understand it and are showing some of the most radical displays of forgiveness I’ve ever seen.
The other day, I caught myself guilty of “Selective Grace.” I have no problem giving grace to the drug addict, the murderer, and people who have committed some of the darkest sins known to mankind. The ministry that God has given me has always been about grace. However, the other day, I found myself guilty of not having grace for a selective group. Here it is! The legalist! The self-righteous!
WE, WHO PREACH GRACE, MUST BE PATIENT WITH PEOPLE WHO LACK GRACE OR WE WILL NULLIFY OUR POSITION ON GRACE.
I find myself, at times, a little hypocritical about grace. It’s easier for me to love on someone who has burned a bridge, slammed a needle into his arm or committed some sort of obvious sin and yet comes back to God. It’s harder for me to patient with someone who acts like he has it all together and bases his walk with God on works. In order to get your PhD in the area of grace, you have to learn to be patient with super religious people, and people who think they are pretty close to perfection.
A person who has fallen very hard into sin needs a friend. He needs someone to be there for him, to try to guide him in his journey and growth. The legalists! The self-righteous! They need it too. I know sometimes they might not accept your friendship but everything inside of us must strive for kindness and understanding towards this group of people. It bothers me when people will have so much grace towards some but then feel that they get a free pass when it comes to the legalist.
There is no group against whom we get a free “Mad At You” card when it comes to grace. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and honor. I must admit The legalists test my patience. I get bothered when they make crazy, mean statements on Twitter when they have no clue about me. I get fired up when people point out skeletons in other people’s closets when they might have a cemetery in their own.
In these moments, when I am tempted to fight The legalist, I must take a deep breath, pray, and ask God to give me the same grace for the self-righteous that I give others. All of us are out of whack to some degree, and we all need people of grace in our lives that are consistent with grace. In order to truly believe in grace, we must believe it all the way to the core of who we are.