Where I work, I call patient’s for a laboratory and we do a really expensive test that most people wind up owing well over a few hundred dollars, if not a few thousand dollars for. However, the reason I’m calling them is because we have this really awesome patient financial assistance program that I love to get them qualified for which allows most patients don’t understand because we literally just write off the cost of the test that would belong to them. Even if their insurance company doesn’t pay in-network. Even if their insurance doesn’t pay a dime. That patient has no cost for the test.
And sometimes, they get really upset in their confusion over this. Here is this lab doing this test that costs thousands and even if my insurance company doesn’t pay you at all, you won’t hold me responsible for that balance? And our response is always the same: Nope, that’s how our patient assistance works.
And you know what? That’s how GRACE works.
We can offer nothing to the Lord as retribution for our sins. We can do nothing to earn grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9 states:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
There’s something so unfair about that. So unjust. It just doesn’t make any sense. And I found recently, that much like the patients I call each day, I’ve been struggling with this more than I realize… And it took a patient to point it out to me. Not one, but multiple patients who expressed frustration and disbelief that someone would just simply write off a few thousand dollars just to help them out. I realize that I have been dealing with a disbelief of my own, that the Lord would simply write off a few thousand debts of my own to Him just to help me get to heaven. The supernatural side of grace is founded in no logic, aside from God’s. No justice system in the world looks at someone and says ”Yes, you’ve committed numerous transgressions and yet, we’re going to walk with you, counseling and loving you into repentance and correction and, all the while, you’ll remain free.”
I dare one person in the world to say that they can really, truly wrap their mind around grace – because we can’t. Even here in America where we have a government founded on Christian principles, we still put people to death for their crimes because we say they deserve it. And while the people they hurt didn’t deserve it either, is that really Biblical? Is that grace?
Now don’t get me wrong- I’m not saying we shouldn’t have consequences for our actions. Even God issues disciplines on those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). But before I run off on a tangent about the death penalty and American politics, let me get back to my point…
Grace. God’s Grace. Amazing Grace.
Grace is not justice. Grace is not fair. And as a friend recently put it, grace is offensive. As humans, we so easily understand debt – we borrow and we pay back. We do for you, you do for us. And yet, this has never been our relationship with the Lord. This is not the Lords ways (Isaiah 55:8). We spend so much of our lives doing FOR Jesus what He says He already did. We show people the Lord by our works, but we’re not saved by them (Mattew 5:16).
If you saw someone drowning, would you throw them a flotation device? Hold out your arm to grab on to? Or would you negotiate an agreement with them ahead of time, say, like ”Okay, I’ll get you outta there, but what’s in it for me? Can I have your car? $10,000? C’mon, what’s your life worth?” Hopefully, you’d say that you’d reach out to save them before ever thinking about what might be in it for you. Similarly, we were SAVED by Christ, not because there was anything in it for Him other than the fact that we would live. He came that we would live (John 3:16) not because God promised Him or we promised Him any big reward. We were saved from drowning in our sin and debt into God’s forgiveness and grace.
We were forGIVEN because Jesus GAVE it to us. We didn’t earn it our buy it. Like Creflo Dollar said, it would then be forSOLD, not forGAVE. Think about that.
We, and I’m speaking a lot to myself, need to stop focusing on the debts we can’t meet because we were never required to meet them. Jesus paid it all. Grace. He offered us GRACE for our debts, our sins, our shortcomings. Following Him, filled with the Holy Spirit, we are in debt no longer.