Is it possible to be too gracious?
This exact question was posed to Christianity Today’s advice column by a reader:
My friend is saved, but he doesn’t act like it. He lives a life full of sin. He even admits it, but says, “It’s OK, Christ forgives me!” It seems like he’s using God’s grace as an excuse to do whatever he wants. What’s the correct way to view God’s grace?
Max Lucado once said “No other philosophy or religion has anything quite like this idea that God takes the initiative and comes after us — not just to save us, but also to sustain us.”
But is it possible to take advantage of such a God? Isn’t this grace thing an open invitation for religious game-playing?
It seems much easier to earn our way into God’s good graces. That way we know who’s in and who’s out. That way we can measure our progress. That way we can be motivated to be a better person because, “I better be good so that I don’t have to worry about God’s judgment.” Grace seems too dangerous and elusive… all around. So, aren’t religious deeds a sturdier foundation than grace? “God look what I’ve done! Do I get a ribbon this week?”
This is such an important question… and one too big for a short blog entry like this. We explore it more fully at City Life Church this week (June 25), and you can even listen online starting Sunday afternoon.
Or, another option would be to break open a Bible, turn to Romans chapter six, and start reading. It literally starts this way: “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” Ha! Let the games begin!