Hyper-Graced

I never wanted to write about this subject. Not through this medium. Not at this time. However, I am convinced that I somehow need to share my view on this sooner or later. So why not now?

Eight years ago, I was studying to become a nurse. I was a very conceited person back then (even now), and I was very sure that my intellect was enough to make me become a licensed nurse. But I read a book which made me decide to ditch my plans to become a Filipino nurse who’d make big bucks by working in the UK or in the US. After all, no one would get wealthy by practicing that profession here in my country.

The book was entitled What’s so Amazing about Grace? by Philip Yancey.

Back then, the message of grace made such an impact in my life that I decided to pursue to become a writer just so I could write about how amazing grace is.

Now, there’s a thing we call Hyper-Grace, something which makes my heart weep. I too have a problem with it because people have misused and abused God’s grace to the extent that they miss the point altogether of why grace was dispensed in the first place.

To understand God’s grace, one must first have their eyes opened to what sin is.

Sin is not just something that you put on a list of things “we should not do” just because a vain and bored god wanted to put up some laws so that he’d have something to monitor us with while watching us from above. That’s foolish. The reason why something is a sin is because it messes with the original (and beautiful) design of the Creator.

Let me cite a bold example just to help you see how bad it is to sin.

I watched pornography for quite some time. And just like (the few of) us, I enjoyed it, and struggled with what part of my sinning needed saving.

Now, I worry why I find it hard at times to look at a woman with respect. Others have it worse; they think women as objects of pleasure, and their minds have been too depraved to the extent that they find cheating okay, and rape acceptable. Even if we men don’t want to see the opposite sex that way, but we sometimes can’t help it — we have conditioned our minds to think that way over time.

All because we fail to acknowledge that big sins are little sins that have taken root in our hearts for a very long time.

I still struggle with sinning, but I now see it as something which hinders me from living my life to the fullest.

Whenever I struggle in that area, or others for that matter, I ask for God to take away the guilt that I am feeling, and to make me remember that Jesus paid even for that sin on the cross. That is a hard task, because some of us would rather they live with the guilt and stay far from God.

Think of the sin that you still find enjoyable. I tell you, it will bring you ruin. And even if it does not, it will hinder you from living your life to the fullest.

And that, my friends, is the reason why God’s grace is good news. But until you see sin for what it really is, then you will not be able to appreciate the gravity of what Jesus did for you.

Prosperity Gospel

Now, this was something I believed in before. I believe God is so good and loving, and if he gave his only son for us, then why would he withhold from us a private jet or a million dollars?

The answer is very simple really. The reason why we do not always get what we ask of him is because we are asking for the wrong things. For example, if God gave me a private jet, then where on earth will I get the money to buy its gas? I don’t even have a hangar to begin with. I don’t even know how to fly a plane. I don’t even know what to do with it. I don’t even know how that will help me become humble.

Of course, God could give me all the money in the world. But why should he? Everyone else will be penniless if that happens. And what would I use the money for?

Money does not make a man happy. Even Robert Kiyosaki claimed so in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad. In my experience, what really makes me happy is getting overwhelmed by God’s reassurance of his love through many media: from my girlfriend’s beautiful gaze to my siblings’ giggles; from the instant answer to my prayers to the realization of the promise I held on to for a time.

Furthermore, I feel really happy whenever I write about what I find out about him. You’d think I’m tired of pressing my thumbs against the screen of my smartphone while composing this, but the truth is that I could not say my day is complete until I have hit the Publish button.

Finally, I feel a profound welling of joy whenever I remember how God has saved me from the man I once was: selfish, angry, and proud. I fear much and tremble whenever I feel the pull of my old self, that I admit. But I feel relieved and grateful whenever I remember how Jesus gave his life for me.

Oddly enough, I don’t find the adjective Hyper inappropriate when referring to grace. I mean, the God of the black holes and quasars chose to love me in spite of all my sin and my inability to reciprocate in the same magnitude. If that grace isn’t hyper enough, then I don’t know what is.

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