When I was a little girl, I would soak up things like a sponge. I was a stickler for facts, rules, truths. When I burned my arm on a kerosene heater in a failed attempt to reach my Snoopy balloon, while receiving treatment from a nurse, I advised her that it was her poor eating habits that caused her to be fat. When visiting with relatives, I advised my great aunt that because of her smoking, she was going to die. I was blunt. I was rude. I just let it all fly out. I held tightly to the truths I heard and I would shove them down anyone’s throat whether they wanted to feast upon it or not.
When we have rules, laws, commands, etc., there is this great balance. There are expectations. There is the possibility to work really hard and feel good about yourself. Still today, I smile knowing that I got 127% in a class in high school. Yes, it in no way impacts my life, but I did it. The key word being “I.” When it comes to the law, it’s all about the “I” and the “they.” For example, I do this great and this well. Look at me being so good. They failed at this. They did not do that. They always do this even though they are supposed to do that. Yes, the law gives us this wonderful opportunity to try to puff ourselves up and push down others.
The real question is whether or not this is accurate — and it’s not! Too often, we are delusional. We reconstruct the law, despite receiving the grace of God. We decide we want to have others try to uphold a set of laws. Yet, as we make this power grab to make ourselves feel better, keep people in check following rules, etc., we forget that if we are reconstructing the law, doing away with grace for others, that it also means we too must uphold the law. It soon becomes clear that we are a lawbreaker. We need grace because we cannot completely fulfill the law. Enter grace! Enter the Messiah! Remember, God doesn’t accept anyone by keeping the law. It is through grace and faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is a truth we can stand firm upon. Daily, we need to make sure our grace is in check. It is too easy to begin the reconstruct the law. Let us instead live by grace.
How do we do this? Make allowances for others. See the best in others. Love and love some more. Truly connect with people in relationship instead of keeping everyone at a distance. Invest in others. Smile. Breathe. Practice the pause. Love and repeat.
“We know that no one receives God’s perfect righteousness as a reward for keeping the law, but only by the faith of Jesus, the Messiah! His faithfulness has saved us, and we have received God’s perfect righteousness. Now we know that God accepts no one by the keeping of religious laws!… For if I start over and reconstruct the old religious system that I had torn down with the message of grace, I would appear to be a lawbreaker.” – Galatians 2:16, 18 [TPT]
Heavenly Father, thank You for the grace upon grace. You are our Righteousness. You are our perfect peace. You have made a way when there was no way. It is in You, we have our hope and our salvation. Lord, we rejoice today because we have encountered Your amazing grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!