Monday, January 21, 2013

Divine Grace: Liberation

Sovereign grace is gradual grace and gentle grace.  Gradually, and without violence, Jesus pricked Saul's mind and conscience with his goads.  Then he revealed himself to him by the light and the voice, not in order to overwhelm him, but in such a way as to enable him to make a free response.  Divine grace does not trample on human responsibility.  Rather the reverse, for it enables human beings to be truly human.  It is sin which imprisons; it is grace which liberates.  (John Stott)

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life- the way of nature and the way of grace.  You have to choose which on your will follow. The Tree of Life

Grace "doesn't try to please itself.  Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked.  Accepts insults and injuries," while Nature "only wants to please itself.  Gets others to please it, too.  It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it.  And love is smiling through all things." Divine Grace does not trample on human responsibilities.  Instead, grace liberates.  As most of you know, lately, Yours Truly has struggled with severe  and paralyzing anxiety.  And, if you want the cold, hard truth, most of my fears stem from the idea of my being hurt.  Of transforming into a Zooey Deschanel song, just a heap on the floor.  There simply aren't enough assurances in life to suit my taste.  I want to be open and loving, but, Gawd, that's risky business, Folks.  Terrifies me.  But, then tonight, as I finished this week's Bible study questions, I ran across the John Stott quote above and something occurred to me.  I am frightened because I am most concerned with my own well being not the well being of others.  I'm selfish.  Here's the deal, if we can find a way to love free of expectations than caring isn't so scary.  In my opinion, true love is grace.  Grace to let someone else be him or herself.  Grace to make mistakes.  Grace to know that loving is worth the effort even if we can't see the outcome.  Grace liberates us to love.

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