Grace is not popular. It’s not popular in secular thought. Somehow, it seems that is not all that popular in Christian thought, either. Our devotion to God is measured by performance. We often mistake spiritual maturity with a good track record.
I do this more often than I’d like to admit. In my mind, I’m being graded on a scale of sanctification. How are my finances? How am I serving my wife? Am I spending enough time in the Bible? Am I reaching out enough?
These questions can all be asked in a healthy way on a foundation of grace. However, on the foundation of performance the outcomes are destructive. If I’m doing well, the outcome is self-righteousness. If I’m doing poorly, the outcome is self-condemnation. I obviously don’t love God enough if I’m not excelling at my list of spiritual disciplines.
This completely forgets the extravagant grace that God has had on us through Jesus. Jesus is the unrelenting pursuer. He gave His life for the love of me and you. It is upon this grace in which we must stand.
Upon this grace, we are saved and upon this grace we can truly grow. I emphasize the word grow, because that is exactly what it is. A child doesn’t grow into a man or woman in a day. It takes time. Along the way there are mistakes made and lessons to learn. How many times does an infant tumble down before he becomes a toddler?
So, maturity and performance aren’t the same. Performance is an act to cover up my own insecurities. Maturity is what happens over time and can only come when I completely rely on the grace of God.
Are you performance oriented? What are ways in which you can accept and live in God’s grace today?