Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Problem with Grace

I recently experienced a mother load of grace. Without getting into too much detail, basically I messed up and the result was a big charge. I took full responsibility for my mistake and planned to beg the debtor to reduce or eliminate those charges, even though I was willing to pay them in full if I had to. How I would do that is a mystery considering my income these days is pretty much a joke. And this charge was not one I was not comfortable asking my hubby to blow his hard-earned money on. In fact, I was afraid to even tell him about the entire incident at first for fear of what he would say. Even though "his" money is really our money and he agreed "we" were responsibility to settle this debt, I was already busy brainstorming what I could personally do to earn enough money to pay for my mistake. He was so gracious to me about the whole thing. Never once did he reprimand me for negligence. He was ready to have words with the debtor on my behalf. But I was too proud and was determined I would find a way to pay this myself.

Then another party who knew about my mistake told me they would take care of it for me even if the debtor demanded payment in full.  Oh, I felt sick to my stomach. Especially if the debtor did not drop any charges, I could in no way accept this gift of grace. No way was an innocent party going to take a fall for my mistake. Not a chance. I'd think of something crafty and maybe open an Etsy shop? Attempt to monetize my blog? Expand my Melaleuca empire? I wasn't sure.

It turns out that my begging for mercy from the debtor resulted in them dropping the charges by more than 75%. This made me so happy. I had been praying for this and God answered my prayer. So shouldn't I be thrilled that I have an offer to "take care of" the remaining 25%? What is my problem with this offer of grace? Simple: my pride.  I'm too proud to take this help that I don't deserve. But it got me thinking...Why hasn't my pride gotten in the way of accepting God's grace? I have been so, so, so, blessed to have been taught about and accepted God's forgiveness of (payment for) my sin debt from a very young age. It's a free gift of grace to me and I have had no problem taking it. I don't recall ever feeling like I've had to earn or work to earn God's love or forgiveness. Jesus paid it all so I don't have to. But if my sin debt is eternally greater than this financial debt, why do I have an easier time accepting Jesus' payment for my sin than this money? Something is seriously wrong with this picture. Do I take God's grace for granted? Or do I take my sin debt too lightly? Apparently its been a lot of both.

I'm still wrestling with whether God wants me to swallow my pride and accept the financial gift of grace (which is easier than figuring out how to pay it myself but requires humility far beyond my comfort level) or if He is teaching me a hard lesson in personal responsibility. But after thinking and praying about all of this for a few weeks, two things I am sure of: I have deeper understanding of just how big and awful my sin debt is and I have a greater appreciation for my sinless Savior who paid lovingly paid my debt for me. I'm reminded again of my Easter post.  

God's grace really is a beautiful treasure. And Jesus makes it available to all, including you.  Do you know Him? Do you accept His grace by faith? Or does your pride get in the way too?

He Paid A Debt He Did Not Owe
He paid a debt He did not owe;
I owed a debt I could not pay;
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And, now, I sing a brand new song,
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

He paid that debt at Calvary.
He cleansed my soul and set me free.
I'm glad that Jesus did all my sins erase.
I, now, can sing a brand new song,
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

One day He's coming back for me
To live with Him eternally.
Won't it be glory to see Him on that day!
I, then, will sing a brand new song,
“Amazing Grace.”
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.
Yes, Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

Ellis J. Crum

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