God’s grace if offensive. It looks at my works, both good and bad, and dismisses them, unjustly and unfairly. The grace of God does not hold me to account as I feel I ought to be. It does not reward my successes and it does not punish me for my failures.
That bothers me because there are times when I very much would like to be honored and glorified for what God has done through me. I want the credit, and when I don’t get it, I pout. Like a child.
But there are also times when I hate myself. I hate myself for the things I’ve done, words I’ve said, pain I’ve caused and mistakes I’ve made. What’s more is that I am not without temptation to recommit the same mistakes that have already shown themselves to be self-sabotage; wretched man that I am! And it is in this shame that I turn to God, critical and hypocritical and demand his wrath. I want his fury because I know I deserve it.
But God, in wisdom, mercy and love, does not punish me. He accepts me as I am. He looks at my mess and does not critique. He does not call me out and he does not shame me before the crowd. Rather, he offers to help. He offers to enter into my overwhelming inadequacy and share with me everything that I need, including the ability to receive his grace.
This both offends me and brings me to tears, be it this morning on the prairie while watching the sunrise, or here and now, in my kitchen while I meditate on the truth.
I am prepared to be a slave. Life is supposed to be hard. But to be a son of God–to be welcomed into a home I sought to destroy by a father I rejected passively and then actively. That, I am completely unprepared for. That level of love and acceptance breaks me, and I am left neither proud nor ashamed, but only entirely amazed.
Repent and believe, for the kingdom is here.