The ‘Grace Trap’
“Hold on! I thought your whole blog was about how brilliant God’s Grace is! How can it be a trap?”
The problem is quite simple. And, for you, it may not even be a problem, but for me it can be. You see, the human tendency is to drift towards legalism, and the practice of Grace is no exception in that it is easy to let the need for ‘living under Grace’ to become a Rule in itself.
In effect, being too ‘pushy’ about Grace, in ourselves and others, can simply become another form of legalism.
For example, sometimes I might feel like pointing out where someone else’s behaviour fails to live under Grace. Rather than living the example, and gently giving my testimony, I might want to point out their ‘error’ in still being under Law. Do you see the trap?
Or, sometimes, I even find myself reminding myself to not be like that, to not be legalistic. This can in itself become a form of legalism. The trap springs again!
Clearly, then, I am not yet used to living under grace in its entirety; I still need to be set free from some of the last traces of legalism stemming from my years of bondage to it.
And that’s an ongoing process. But, in the meantime, the Master is patient with me. As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 (Message): “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG translation) I therefore need simply to rest in God, to simply live life and just get on with it in the knowledge that He has it all covered. Grace – in a lot of ways we may not even think about it all that much, except perhaps in gratitude. Because it will be normal life, if you like.
God is Good, all the time. And all the time, God is Good!
And boy am I glad about that!