The Gospel of Grace is an indictment of the American ideal that “everything must be earned” and “everything must be worked for!” Truthfully we tend to appreciate things less when we personally haven’t worked for them. In this culture you’ll hear things like, “God helps those who help themselves,” and “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps,” and “Nothing is for free.” These things are quoted as if they were the fulcrum to our faith and to understanding the nature of God. However none of these ideals are found in scripture but they are found in our American culture. We have been conditioned by a culture of “transaction,” so that the Church operates more like a capitalist economy and less like a hospital for the sick, the lost and the broken.
Florida Stream Church
American culture revolves around doing and getting, working and earning, consisting of cycles of mutual and conditional reciprocation. Grace disrupts those essential American ideals with undeserved, unmerited, unconditional Love. We didn’t earn it, and we didn’t work hard enough for it! Which is the very reason it is so hard for us to receive it. Grace is disorienting in nature. We reel and rock back and forth, like a boxer who just took a left hook to the temple when we experience God’s Grace. It decimates our pride. It overwhelms our ego. It shatters all categories and labels, and for most of us, it leaves us frustrated. We fight it, like swimming against the ocean’s current because we are unable to offer something in exchange. We want to make a transaction. We want so much to earn it. And we aren’t given that option.