Change of Grace
I come from a tradition where a lot of importance was put on the things I did not do. I did not do a lot of things; therefore I thought I was closer to God. I worked down this path for quite a few years before I figured out that there are many more facets to my faith.
I am not sure why this “holiness heavy” path was so attractive to me, but I think it is because it was radically different than the way I was raised. While growing up, I really don’t remember my parents putting a lot of restrictions on things for me. I was taught, however from a young age to make decisions that would last, as both of my parents worked for the same companies for over twenty years. A lot of their stability came from their work and friendships made from within those work communities.
My grandfather was a Maytag repairman taught me, “if you work hard, are honest, than you will do well in this life.” My grandmother, in contrast, taught me to love people no matter what and that, “God is always ready to forgive.”
As I have grown in my faith and changed, I went from following the hard work philosophy of my grandfather to the “cheap grace” version of my grandmother’s faith.
Now, I really don’t have a laundry list of things I don’t do. I experience grace more often and give it more freely. I don’t have the tendency I once did of comparing my faith to others. One surprising part of making a change to this mindset is that I have served with a more pure heart.
I also realized through this process that I have talents, but they are worth nothing if I don’t extend and receive grace. I used to see some people as the “other” and I just don’t have any “others” now, and I intend to keep it that way.
Everyone needs a savior. Everyone needs grace. Everyone needs someone to start a conversation with them about both.
Whether it is Harold Camping who predicted the world was going to end last Saturday or the most volatile person you know.
There is a range of grace that is infinite in God’s vantage point.