The Annoying Thing About Grace

Sometimes I find the grace of God to be frustrating. Please bear with me and I will try to avoid being blasphemous. The grace of God is just too good. How can something “too good” be annoying? How can its very goodness be what is annoying about it? I’ll get back to that in just a moment.

It’s hard to give up religion. Religion teaches you that if you do good, God will accept you. If you don’t do good, then God will punish you. (And of course, religion redefines what “good” and “bad” truly are, as if “good” is something you can obtain all by yourself). The Good News of Jesus Christ tells a different story. As Christians, we know that we are not good, but we are told God accepts us anyway. Not only does God remove His wrath and place it on Jesus, but He gives you the righteousness of Jesus and promises a future beyond all pleasure that can be imagined. So, in exchange for your accepting Jesus as Lord (despite what horrid things you have done with your life), God grants immense satisfaction for all eternity.

Many people reject Christianity because God seems too wrathful. I struggle believing Christianity because God seems too gracious. When I sin against God, I know I deserve His punishment and almost can’t bear the thought that He will forgive me. I don’t want to accept His forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I wish He would at least just cut off one of my toes or something to mark His punishment.

*Quick side note for the atheists out there: I feel I deserve punishment, not because of some instilled brainwashing, but because I have a sense of justice in my heart, as I’m sure you do as well. You hear a story about child molestation and something in you should stir for justice. Something must be done. You just may rarely look for justice against all the things you have done or said or thought. The majority of people know what it is to feel shame. If you never feel shame, you are in a small class of people among the likes of Charles Manson. But for those that feel shame, it’s hard to let go.

Back to Grace: So, when I say grace is frustrating, I mean that my mortal brain wants to reject it because the goodness of grace is too good. When I say it’s annoying, I mean it is really quite amazing. I am so thankful. When I have trouble accepting the grace of God, I often go back to a quote from Watchman Nee’s book “The Normal Christian Life”:

“Let us remember that a holy and righteous God has the right to say that the Blood is acceptable in His eyes and has fully satisfied Him.”

Brothers and Sisters, fight against your sin. But never let the accuser leave guilt hovering over your head. satan is a liar and doesn’t want you to feel the power of the cross. The Blood satisfied God, it must satisfy us too. 

Craig Carmack is a member of CSBC, currently attending seminary at SBTS. His personal blog is at triumphofthegospel.blogspot.com.
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