Rejecting Grace: 3 Reasons Why We Do It and How To Stop

“We are presumptuous, not when we marvel at his grace, but when we reject it.” – Max Lucado, The Gospel of Second Chances

power of grace

Good morning friends! Are any of you, by chance, a grace rejector?

My husband, who has far more tact than I ever will, would cringe at my question. “You can’t ask questions like that!” he’d say.

Probably not.

But this is important. I don’t want to gloss this one over and have you spend another day missing out on what God so desperately wants you to know.

I was studying the concept of God’s grace with some friends, when I realized I’m a grace rejector.

Not on purpose, mind you. But the more I learned, the more I became aware of little “roadside stands” in my life that sell me a cheap, knock-off version of a very different kind of grace. A grace where my works are necessary and perfection is a must. A grace God reluctantly hands out with plenty of strings attached.

It got me wondering if any of you are prone to ditching God’s grace too.

So today, I want to talk about these “roadside stands” and how to put them out of business for good. If we want to live the abundant life God promises us, we’ve got to shut them down and get back on the highway. The longer we’re parked on the side of the road – buying what they’re selling, the less time we’ll have to live an impactful, influential, and significant life.

So who’s manning these roadside stands, and what are we buying from them?

Roadside Stand #1: The enemy

We buy his accusations.

You’ve changed so much over the years. You’re not the person you once were. In your past, you were foolish, arrogant and deceitful. You hurt others – maybe yourself. Maybe you stole, maybe you lied. Maybe you gave yourself away, but now … now you know you’re a new creation.

Except when the whispers begin to stir in your mind …

You don’t honestly think you can share the Bible do you?

Who are you to offer help in their marriage?

You can’t help them with their addiction, you’ll be a hypocrite.

How can someone like you – with your past, make anyone’s life better?

Lie upon lie designed to derail us into an ineffective, unproductive life. The accuser never lets us bury our past. He defines our best by the worst parts of our life.

Shut it down:

It is said that God casts our sins behind his back into the depths of the sea, so when they are searched for, they are not found.

When the enemy pings us on our worthiness, it triggers an avalanche of all we’ve done wrong. We replay our sins and start to believe that maybe we haven’t received enough of God’s grace. But the truth is, Jesus’ sacrifice dissolved our sins in heavenly seas with wave after wave of grace.

Satan tries to distract us into searching for something we cannot be find. Oh, he may call out, “Ah! Here’s a speck of your unworthiness! What can you do beyond this?” Please know it’s a lie. He has NOTHING on you.

God in his perfect grace, has the perfect response to our sins:

“I will show loving-kindness to them and forgive their sins. I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)

Roadside Stand #2: Family, friends and well … the world

We buy their judgements.

There’s a word in the book of Daniel called Tekel. It means you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. In Scripture this was written on a wall to a terrible king named Belshazzar who was about to experience God’s judgement for his evil behavior.

When I studied this, however, I couldn’t help but think how family, friends, and even the world write “Tekel” on the walls our lives too. Humanity is in the judging business. Oh, we try to offer grace, but grace in human form, is really no grace at all.

We’ve judged you as a spouse, a parent, a sibling, and a friend and found you wanting.

We’ve considered how you earned your education, work at your job, manage your finances, and deal with your past and found you wanting.

We’ve examined how you raise your children, keep your home, handle your relationships, and take care of your body and found you wanting.

These judgments are easy to buy because we’re intimate with our struggles. Since we’re not perfect, they hold a measure of truth. Trouble is, we think God’s thoughts of us aren’t any higher than man’s, so maybe … heavenly grace isn’t any better than human grace.

Shut it down:

In John 8 there’s a story of a woman who was cast in judgment by people she knew. Her situation was presented to Jesus and his response was beautiful. A response just as relevant for us today.

“Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Though the world condemns, God does not. Go. Walk away from your sin, and people’s judgments, and LIVE.

Roadside Stand #3: Ourselves

We buy our own guilt.

I think this is the hardest stand to shut down. Guilt is the inner voice that responds to God’s grace with a “Yes, but …”

“Yes, grace is a lovely idea but … it’s not really for someone like me.”

We believe we’ve done too much, gone too far, lived too recklessly, and hated too passionately for God’s grace to penetrate, remake, and reclaim our life.

Shut it down:

Ditching God’s grace for guilt is a real danger. By it, we say God’s power, promises, his character and sacrifice, his victory over the grave, and all that he is is … insufficient.

He is insufficient in our life, our circumstances, our addictions, our marriage, our work, our forgiveness and our salvation.

Yikes! Do you feel guilty right now? I kinda do.

Friend, guilt is a tool of the enemy – nothing more. There’s no value in it. Good doesn’t come from it – only shame and more guilt. Two thing that sideline us in life.

When guilt threatens, let’s remember the words of Micah 7:19:

“You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Let’s spend all our days marveling at God’s amazing grace, instead of rejecting it.

The Lord longs to be gracious to you. (Isaiah 30:18)

One Reply

  1. Frank

    Very nice article! One item I think needs more explanation is the comment about guilt. A sense of guilt is a grace when it leads to a contrite heart and a true repentance. However, once you have repented and reconciled with those we have offended, then there is no place for guilt. Sometimes guilt hangs on because we have not truly repented and reconciled. I think you mean beating ourselves up long after true repentance is made to God and neighbor.

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