For some time, I had subconsciously believed that every time I committed a sin, that it was my job to do something good for God in order to prove my allegiance to him, and make up for the sins that I had committed in the past. In my mind, whether I knew it or not, I felt as if God was keeping a balance of the things that I had done wrong, and it was my job to pay off that balance. Surely, God must have been angry towards me, or at the least, highly annoyed, rolling his eyes every time I tripped over the same sins over and over again. This lead me to believing that God was more of an impatient, cosmic police officer, than a loving Father. Every time I made a mistake, I ran whimpering off with my tail between my legs before he wrote me up or launched a lightning bolt towards me out of anger.
Theology irons out the wrinkles in the fabric of our beliefs about God. My problem was that fact that I didn’t really know who God was, and I certainly didn’t understand grace.
(Romans 5:20) “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…”
(Romans 6:14) “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
(2 Corinthians 4:15) “For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.”
What I did not realize that was I was a debtor to grace. In fact, even when I tried to repay God with good works, every good work that I was doing for God, God was actually doing through me in the Spirit. So instead of my good works repaying God, I was actually growing deeper into his debt. This was eye-opening. Now that any shimmer of hope that I could repay God was put to rest, I finally began to understand the mystery, joy, and freedom of God’s grace.
This verse summed up my life: (Galatians 3:3) “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”
I had been trying to reach perfection through my humanity, instead of through Christ. The more I tried, the more I failed. Not only was my view of God and his grace critically flawed, but it removed the power of the gospel (Galatians 2:21), and caused me to view God in a way that was far from glorifying to Him.
The joy of Christianity is found in the grace of God. You no longer bear the weight of repaying an impossible debt. That very debt becomes the reason of your gratitude.