All the Things We Do
Do you believe in grace?
Do you understand grace? Do I?
I don’t think we do understand grace. Why not? Because we’re still trying to become something by doing something.
Believe it or not, there are lots of stupid things you’re doing right now in order to become something. In fact, almost everything you do, you are doing in order to become something.
Stupid things, such as trying to make yourself look pretty by putting on eye liner and lipstick, or trying to make yourself look like a real ‘dude’ by pumping weights or wearing a certain type of jeans; stupid things, such as moving up the ladder socially, by making a few more greenbacks this year than last year, or trying to win a championship, or trying to attract a mate, or trying to earn a promotion, or trying to keep your job.
Stupid things? But Tim, these are good things. They’re the stuff of life! This is how the world works – you’ve got to do something if you want to become something.
No, honestly, these are stupid things – at least, when you rely on these things in order to become something that you are not. They’re every bit as stupid as trying to make gentile converts to Christ by means of circumscision (Acts 15:5).
Stupid, in part, because these things don’t make us much. But much, much more stupid because of what God himself wants to make us become.
God wants to ‘cleanse our hearts’ (Acts 15:9). Do you know what that means?
First, it means that everything in your past that sullies your heart, the dirt of immorality, and misbehavior, and sin – both the bad things you yourself did and the bad things others did do you – has been wiped clean from your record.
Second, it means that your heart is now a fitting habitation for nothing less than the Holy Spirit of God – to fill you with all the fullness of God himself, filling you with his love, and his power, and his joy, and his peace, and his righteousness.
Third, it means that your heart is bound for heaven eternally to live with Jesus and for Jesus in so much joy and fulfillment that our earthly minds would literally explode if we knew the half of it!
How you become this person? How do you get this cleansed heart?
By doing something?
No! By grace.
In comparison to what God wants to make us, by grace, there’s only one good word for all of our many futile attempts at self-betterment, for all of the things we do: stupid.