How to know if you have Grace or pop-grace

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When you think about it, there is really no such thing as Grace alone without being Grace turned outward. I don’t think you can have it. When you receive Grace, it forever changes the playing field. It removes the competition. It erases “us” and “them” (there is just “us” — all of us). It’s basically game over on comparison, measurement and judgment.

It’s like you get a new set of eyes. It’s impossible to look down with these eyes. You can only look across and up. That’s because there is no one lower than you. You’ve bottomed out, and it’s a great relief. You find yourself embracing and being embraced by the rest of humanity, and it feels good.

If there is someone lower than you, if there is someone you can compare yourself to and come off better than, or if there is still the need to even engage in this kind of comparison, then whatever it was you thought you got, it wasn’t Grace. It was a pseudo-grace, or a fabricated grace, or a pop-grace, but it wasn’t Grace. It was grace with still a little bit of you in it. Grace is all God. It has nothing of me in it.

In some Christian circles, Grace is sort of fashionable. It’s the new theology. There are a lot of people talking about Grace today, but I’m not sure they are all talking about the same thing.

I can’t tell who has  it and who doesn’t or I would be violating the very thing I’m talking about, but I know it exists. I can’t judge anyone else’s heart; I just know my own well enough to know you can do this (because I have). You can fake it. I am an expert in the nuances of Pharisaism, and I know a Pharisee can possess all kinds of spiritual knowledge and mimic all kinds of spiritual activity.

It doesn’t come in two stages, like you receive Grace and then sometime later you turn that Grace outward. Grace turned outward is a by-product of Grace. Grace turned outward is what indicates that you received Grace in the first place. You just can’t keep Grace to yourself.

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3 Responses to How to know if you have Grace or pop-grace

  1. Kris Rudin says:

    Excellent description of Grace! Good food for thought. Thank you for sharing!

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