“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes”
There exists a mentality among Christian believers where our faith grants us a plethora of nice things. This concept tells us that material possessions are a sign of favor. If we just have enough faith, we will live in a land of wonder and grace and blessings.
Doing missions work in a very poor town in Mexico, I was horrified to find this twist. (I had thought that it wouldn’t really work among the desperate.) But an especially virulent type was working in the hearts of my brothers and sisters. They grabbed this idea that since they followed God that soon they could count on special favors from Him. (Like a car, electricity, running water.)
From their cardboard shacks, they would generate a special favor from the Lord. Some believers over time, began to see that grace was not a reward, and material blessings could not be manipulated in this way. God’s grace would not make them wealthy.
Somehow, we can get confused and believe that if we jump through the right hoops God is obligated to give us our desires. But you can not use him in this way; grace is given to us to heal us. It is a gift, and it will always be a gift. We don’t deserve it, we don’t earn it for having enough faith. Grace isn’t supposed to be like this, rather it’s more like an I.V. to a dying man. It is dialysis to the woman with kidney failure.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9, ESV
Grace comes to us because we are so very sick. We are deeply affected by our spiritual disease. We should think, rather than see it as a reward, it is treatment for what has deeply sickened us.
Just thinking out loud here. I hope I haven’t offended.
- The Grace of Surrender (bibletweets.wordpress.com)