Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sin and Grace

If you’re like me, you struggle daily to live in a way that will please God. Yet we all fail. I look at others, including some of my own family members, and wonder why in the world they continue to make choices that hurt others and themselves. Some of us continually sin and repent and sin again. Other seem to have fallen captive to sin and show no desire to change.

John Piper, in his excellent book Future Grace, writes: “Sin is what you do when your heart  is not satisfied with God. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it holds out some promise of happiness.” When we swallow the lie that this life and its earthly experiences can provide greater enrichment and deeper happiness than following God, we’re headed for sloppy living. We know better, but most of us don’t live out of what we know; we live out of what we want. That sinful human characteristic makes God’s extravagant grace even more astounding when we fully embrace it.  (from Extravagant Grace, Women of Faith)

So true! I think I’ll be happy if I follow my own way.

Remembering this truth helps me feel compassion for those who seem to be trapped in sinful lives, knowing that their choices grow out of unhappiness, and a mistaken belief that earthly pleasures will lead to real happiness. A fear that “giving up” something pleasurable for the sake of obeying God or being kind to another person will lead to unhappiness.

I am so thankful for God’s grace in my life and I need to remember to, likewise, show grace to others with their shortcomings.

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