Thursday, July 4, 2013
Conditional or Unconditional?
I realize different people have different views on God's grace - what is required to acquire it and hold it; whether or not it can be lost; is it conditional or unconditional? And I don't mean to diminish anyone else's beliefs in the matter, but, allow me to give my opinion...
I believe God's grace is always there. We cannot fall from it. We cannot restore it. It is there for us no matter what we do. It is unconditional. God's grace and love is unconditional.
Does this mean we don't need to try to do better? That we can just live it up and to hell with the consequences?
Of course not. Of course, there are some who will do exactly this. But most will not.
I'm reminded of a friend of mine...
Many years ago, a good friend of mine got into drinking and smoking at a rather young age. She got into a lot of trouble, and ended up costing her parents quite a bit of money in legal fees, bail money, etc. And yet her parents were consistently there for her, helping her out. Eventually, she did end up spending some time in jail. Her parents had decided not to bail her out. They didn't stop loving her. They just knew she had to face the consequences of her decisions. Shortly after this, my friend decided to get the help she desperately needed, and is doing incredibly well today.
How does this relate to God's Grace?
God never stopped loving this friend of mine either. He continued to give her His grace and love. Yes, she had to face consequences for breaking earthly laws. But He continued to stand by her. She never fell from his grace. And she didn't need to do anything to get that grace back (because she'd never lost it).
In speaking to her one day, she admitted to me that part of why she got help was BECAUSE her parents stayed by her side. She didn't want to disappoint them anymore. They had done so much for her... cried so many tears and gave up so much and through it all continued to stand beside her. She wanted to change... she wanted to prove to herself and them that she could be at least partially worthy of this love. She wanted to change because they loved her, and she loved them.
And this is how I am with God's grace. He continues to offer it to me. He continues to stand beside me. I don't change because I feel I need to restore His grace. I change and try to be better because He never leaves my side.
God gives me grace because of who God is... not because of who I am.