A few months ago, our older son was facing a decision at school. Steve and I intentionally pushed him to make the decision himself -- to reason about the problem, examine the possible outcomes to the best of his ability and to choose. We didn't leave him alone in the decision, and helped him through these steps, but the decision was his.
I think he found it difficult.
I was reading a devotional from Disciplines:
When devout followers of religious laws are told that they have a higher vision (to love their neighbor, for example, even it that means they do not obey all dietary laws), they often exerience both freedom and a sense of burden.
When we are conditioned to live within the rules, then when we are thrust beyond the rules, we do experience freedom, but we also struggle. To quote the devotional, "It is good to be fee of some detailed laws, but how can they love enough?"
We might think we can follow the rules, and we probably find comfort in them. But when we are called to move beyond the rules, the we loose our confidene. How can we love enough? How do we show grace?
That's why God shows us grace. We can't love enough -- we can't earn God's love through our actions. We can't earn it by following the laws, or by not following the laws. We can't be good enough, and we can't earn what we have been given by grace.
That's hard to accept, and yet it's the heart of the matter.
Labels: Gospel, grace, Law