I’ve known for years that God’s grace is free. A long time ago, I learned Ephesians 2:8 (NLT), “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” And this one… Romans 3:24 (NLT), “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
Grace is free… or so I thought.
Okay, wait, I haven’t flip flopped on an essential truth of the gospel. Grace is free, and it’s not free. We have to make an exchange to receive it. We have to give up our pride. As long as we’re holding onto our ways of doing things and making decisions, and our rationalizations for our selfish actions, and our never-would-outwardly-admit-I-think-I-know-better-than-the-Creator-God-who made-me attitude… no grace. NO grace.
I can’t hold onto my pride and receive grace, because my hands and heart are already full. I have to lay down pride (notice I have refrained from calling it by its nasty names- selfishness, controlling, always right, better than you, smarter than God, because this is a “tolerant” blog and I don’t want to offend anyone…).
I have to let it go to receive what God has for me- His very best which I cannot provide for myself no matter how hard I try or how much I try to convince myself I’ll be able to, real soon, you just watch. Grace, that overlooks my sin, that overwrites my sin, that overcomes my sin, is mine, for a simple exchange of my filthy good for nothing rags for God’s richest blessing. He has made a way through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, to be reconnected with Him, and I don’t even have to wait until I leave the planet to get this grace.
So, an exchange is all that is required of me to get this “free” grace, and a most unfair exchange at that- it’s a steal, really.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.