Yesterday we concluded that grace is Christianity’s best gift to the world! It’s a force stronger than vengeance, stronger than racism, stronger than hate. But sadly, to a world desperate for this grace, the church sometimes instead presents a form of what Philip Yancey calls “ungrace.”
In his book, The Grace Awakening, Charles Swindoll powerfully lists these enemies of grace as:
- From without—legalism, expectations, traditionalism, manipulation, demands, negativism, control, comparison, perfectionism, competition, criticism, pettiness and a host of others.
- From within—pride, fear, resentment, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, insecurity, fleshly effort, guilt, shame, gossip, hypocrisy, and many more.
Nothing has the power to change us from within like the freedom that comes through grace. And grace has very practical outworking in our lives:
- A greater appreciation for God’s gifts. Those who claim the freedom God offers gain an appreciation for the gifts that come with life—the free gift of salvation, life, laughter, music, beauty, friendship and forgiveness.
- Less time and energy being critical or concerned about the choices of others. When you begin to operate in the context of grace and freedom, you become increasingly less petty. You will allow others room to make their own decisions in life, even though you may choose otherwise. A grace‐full Christian is one who looks at the world and others through “grace‐tinted lenses.”
- More tolerant and less judgmental. When you are so involved in your own pursuit of grace, you’ll no longer lay guilt trips on those with whom you disagree.
- A giant step toward maturity. As your world expands, thanks to an awakening of your understanding of grace, your maturity will flourish. You will become more like Jesus and you will never be the same!
Today I will determine to avoid those things that prompt “ungrace” in my life.
Lord, I no longer want to remain in my old ways. Help me to become more like Jesus.