It’s a slippery slope when we start putting conditions on the receipt of grace. When I start thinking that the things that you do leave you outside of grace then the things that I do could leave me outside of grace, too. How I give grace impacts how I view it and how I view grace will impact how capable I am of receiving it.
I wrote an article the other day on Colin Kaepernick and it has gotten some attention. While most of the attention was positive, I also drew some criticism. I got called “liberal” and some other things, but I’m not at all offended. I’m stirred by the fact that the negative responses were predominately from professing Christians.
When asked how to pray, Jesus taught (in part), “and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” There is a flow through of forgiveness. There is a flow through of grace.
Jesus died for everyone. Liberals, conservatives, whites, blacks, Americans and non-Americans. A myopic view of the scope of grace limited to our particular need for grace is a distortion of grace.
The only burden of grace is the burden to allow it to flow through us. When we realize our own depravity and the grace we have been afforded through Jesus, we are humble in how we respond to the depravity of others. When we forget that we have been forgiven of some pretty cruddy stuff, we no longer forgive others as we are forgiven.
Jesus doesn’t stop forgiving us as we stop forgiving others but we stop realizing it. When there is no flow through, there is no realization. When we don’t offer grace to others, we won’t recognize it for ourselves.
When we don’t realize our depravity and the need for grace, we are wide open to pride. We are prone to thinking we are good Christians, keeping the law. We then use the law and distorted versions or bits and pieces of it to judge others. Our judgments cause us to become bitter and angry as we increasingly forget the grace that keeps us from judgement ourselves.
As far as I know, Colin doesn’t know Jesus and some others that rally to his defense certainly won’t. I’d rather extend a bridge of grace that affords relationship which could lead to eternal salvation than foster divisions based in temporal things. That’s not liberal, it’s the Gospel.