Four Reasons Why Grace is Better Than Everything Ever
1. Grace Wins Every Time
Honestly, I’ve received some pretty incredible gifts in my lifetime. The list of the best includes but is not limited to: Sock Em’ Boppers, free plane tickets, one of those barbie mini cars, my entire childhood, the pink power ranger action figure, love and affection from family and friends, a wonderful education from Baylor University, and, last but certainly not least, so so many chocolate chip cookies.
It’s like, how can anything beat chocolate chip cookies? They are so delicious, and never get old. I don’t understand how they keep getting better. The thing is, though, I put the gift of grace up against the gift of a chocolate chip cookie and it wins every time. Sock Em’ Boppers- grace beats them even though they’re really cool. Love and affection from family and friends- grace dominates. Nothing, no matter how good and precious it is, can beat grace. You see, I might have done something to deserve those things, but grace- I did nothing. The gift of undeserved love from God trumps everything else. Always. Plus, all of those other gifts, which are very, very good I might add, I can only receive because of grace. So when you think about it, every good gift is only made possible through the grace of God. Trees are green because of grace. Braces straighten teeth because of grace. Sock Em’ Boppers are awesome because of grace. You just took that breath because of grace. Grace wins. Every time.
2. Grace Levels Out The Playing Field
Gregory of Nyssa in his Great Catechism points out something super important. Like, crazy important. He essentially argues that all things created are on the same playing field because everything that is created is subject to change. So God is not subject to change because he is the Creator not a created being. Everything else, aka created beings, are subject to change. Humans are included in the everything else category, obviously. Being subject to change means that we collectively are subject to risk because humans have choice. It’s risky because created beings can’t be perfect but we still choose. Awkward. Whether it be sometimes or all the time, we mess up. Grace then becomes not only relevant but also necessary. We need someone not created (God) to step in and help us clean up our mess. Not some of us, but everyone. Grace levels out the playing field because everyone needs it.
The Bible puts it this way “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for for are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) More so, there is no star athlete or couch potato, king or pauper, mr. popular or recluse, goody two-shoes or rebellious child, Middle Easterner or Yugoslavian, George Washington or a cherry farmer, or any person ever that is exempt from being subject to change and in absolute need of grace.
3. Grace Literally Makes Life A Party
Sometimes, I wake up thinking about grace and I jump out of bed to cheer. That could sound normal, but I am not a morning person. Ask my friends or family. I am a zombie until around 11:00am. BUT sometimes I wake up thinking about the gift of grace and it gets me all riled up. I hope to eventually wake up celebrating like that every morning. Speaking of hope. Hope can’t exist without grace. That’s why the gift of grace is worthy of celebrating all the time. Without the gift of grace, we could only have wishful thinking. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 agrees, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” I love that verse because grace comes first and then good works. If it was the other way around I would be screwed.
So, the other day I was in the Old City of Jerusalem. I arrived on a huge Jewish holiday called Shavuot. It was amazing to see the devotion of the masses. Thousands upon thousands flock to the Western Wall to celebrate the giving of the law. From a vantage point, I watched all of these people celebrating, but I couldn’t understand. I’ve read Deuteronomy, which the Torah observes, and chapter 27 verse 26 says, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” There’s no way everyone at the Western Wall was convinced that they had perfectly kept the law, but they were still celebrating. So were they celebrating their cursedness? No, why would they? They were honoring God with the wishful thinking that he will one day honor their obedience. They want grace, too. Who doesn’t? It is the best. I wouldn’t be able to celebrate in comfort at the wall like they did because, like 2 Thessalonians said, grace is where my comfort comes from, not my own works.
Shavuot falls 50 days after Passover, and, as my friends and I talked to a group of young Jewish twenty-somethings, we realized that Pentecost fell 50 days after Passover as well. Pentecost– a day commemorating the coming of the Holy Spirit who administers grace through Jesus Christ. I’m positive it is by no mistake that they fall on the same day. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” I can’t celebrate Shavuot because celebrating my being cursed just doesn’t sound fun, but Pentecost is a day worth celebrating because of grace.
Here’s the thing: I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ETERNITY OR ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE OF GRACE. So bring out the fireworks, streamers, balloons, smiles, and hot dogs, why not, because grace is the reason to party.
4. Grace Doesn’t Depend On Us
The fourth and final reason grace is better than everything is actually my favorite. I know, it’s crazy to pick favorites out of a list this good, but this is the best news y’all. I’ve hinted at it already because this aspect of grace is found it its very definition and actuality. It is counter-cultural. It is against what we’ve been told our entire lives. Grace tells the Little Engine That Could, who says “I think I can. I think I can.”, “You can’t. You didn’t. So I did.” Grace does not depend on you. I did nothing to earn grace. Nothing to deserve it. Grace comes solely from God, and I had/have not a thing to do with it. To me, that rocks. Imagine, a Bob the Builder episode begins and the theme song ends with, “Can we fix it? No we can’t!” Don’t worry we’re still cheering because God fixed the problem by his grace alone. I think it’s the best solution. Way better than if I actually did try to fix it. I’m so glad grace does not depend on us.
Colbie Caillat has a new single that I think sums up our role in grace and why it is the best: “you don’t have to try try try try, you don’t have to try try try try, you don’t have to try try try try, you don’t have to try.” Yes, she actually sings it that many times. The thing is, we probably need to hear it that many times. A do-it yourself attitude has been engrained since birth, and grace is given to us because we couldn’t do-it ourselves.
The gift of grace is better than everything else in the entire world because we did absolutely nothing to deserve it, yet through it we get to enjoy life to the fullest.
I will end with the Webster’s Dictionary definition of grace because the definition, what grace is, sums up why it’s better than everything ever.
a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
Definition in laymen’s terms: We messed up, but have been given undeserved divine help from God, through grace extended by Christ’s perfect life, crucifixion, and resurrection, the ability to enjoy a state of pardon by Christ’s own virtue because we could not earn pardon from God on our own, or come even remotely close for that matter. What is more, we have done absolutely nothing but fail to deserve this gift, but Christ in his perfect love did it anyways.
So basically, grace, Christ Himself, is the best gift in the universe and better than everything ever. Therefore, Grace>Everything.