Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Justice of Grace

So… if you have been reading any of my previous writings you have figured out by now that I am a very justice driven person.  I like for good people to get rewarded and for the bad people to be punished.  Starting around the age of seven, I had my heart set on being a police officer when I grew up.  I would dress up every year for Halloween as a police officer and my biggest hero on the planet was my uncle who was, you guessed it, a cop.  As I grew up my view of the world grew darker and I lost my naivety.  Life has a way of stealing the innocence of your childhood.  I have this curse… I tend to see people for what they are very quickly.  All through junior high and high school I got into fights protecting the weak from the people trying to hurt them, physically and emotionally.  My struggle through high school was all the injustice I saw happening around me.  People who claimed righteousness but lived hypocritically were rewarded for fooling everyone around them.  Not me… I saw them for what they were.  I went to a Christian school, Ovilla Christian School.  That place… oh that place, it taught me how to be hard, how to hate fake religion, how to fear failure and hide heartache.  That place… it tried to break me.   It is a place completely driven by what looks good on the outside.  The kids who followed the rules and didn’t doubt or test the system were rewarded.  The kids who didn’t, well, they were told over and over again how God was so disappointed in them and how they would never amount to anything unless they could learn to conform.  Growing up in that environment made me crave justice.  The more I have grown up and the closer I grown to God has caused me to experience a lot of grace and that really confused me for a long time.  I found grace to be so irresistible that I caught myself running full speed after it down an unknown road without any desire to look back.  This caused a war to go on inside me between my head that said I deserved punishment for my ridiculous amount of life failures and my heart that said God’s grace has declared me freed and forgiven.  You know, it always confused me how the Bible says that God is a god of complete justice and of complete grace.  Those two things DO NOT go together!  Or… do they?  See, here’s what I have discovered through months and months of a study at my church;  We have a choice.  We can choose to live by the “do to get” system where the harder we work the more we get (where we will never be enough to measure up to God’s standards of good enough, by the way) or we can choose to live by the grace given to us by Jesus’s death on the cross that declares us absolutely clean and free from all failures past, present, or future.  Whichever system we choose is the one we will be judged by, that’s God’s complete justice.  The choice is grace and the judgment is justice.  I have chosen happily to live in his grace!  Who would want to ever choose the other path?  It seems so hopeless and depressing! CAUTION: HARD TRUTH TIME.  There are churches across the world perpetuating the other choice!!!   There are churches today, here, on this earth, in this country, in your state, in your city, on your street preaching that message!  They use guilt and condemnation to intimidate an control people into “doing spiritual things”  instead of creating a desire to let Christ be lived out in their lives.  Why do you think the world sees Christians as ignorant, stiff necked people?!  BECAUSE SO MANY ARE!!!  Why don’t we stop worrying about our check lists of quiet times and daily bible readings and dreaded trips to church twice a week and start taking in the amazing freedom offered to us by grace through Christ?!  Why don’t we stop singing amazing grace at the end or our service and start experiencing it in our lives?!  Why don’t  we stop producing plastic cookie cutter Christian kids in our schools and start exciting in them a desire to be radical world changing Christ followers!  You want to change the world for Christ?  Don’t go to the streets looking for the “non-believers” go to your churches and start a grace revolution. 

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