Friday, May 15, 2015

No Cheap Grace, No Cheap Answers

Christianity is grace, but as we are often reminded, it is not "cheap grace." It is not an escape from suffering. It does not dispense us from the need to strive to live a genuine human life, to be obedient to the wise and loving plan of God, or to wage relentless war against our own selfishness.

Christianity does not provide "cheap answers" to the painful and mysterious questions of our lives. It is not a refuge from failure or a pretext to compromise with mediocrity. It is not a place to hide from our own weakness.

Critics claim that people embrace faith because they want easy answers. They want a package of solutions to their problems and emotional comfort for their hurts and fears.

But this is not the effect of real Christianity. It is not an anesthetic. On the contrary, it opens new dimensions of the questions of the heart, and sparks a deeper dynamic of intelligence in the search for understanding. It awakens a unique sensibility to our own wounds and a compassion for the wounds of the world. It engenders a love that is the opposite of power and domination, a love that has the courage to be more vulnerable, to be poor and humble, to endure our own sufferings and to be with others in the places where they suffer.

Christianity is not a list of cheap answers that take away the real drama and vulnerability of human life. Christianity is a Person who loves us and endures our vulnerability to the very end, transforming it from within. The "answer" is the way He embraces each of our lives. We are changed by living with Him.

We are not changed by a "satisfying explanation." We are changed by Him.