Introduction: As my wife was watching her favorite “clean crime show,” I was sitting next to her, working on my laptop. Admittedly, I too enjoy the show and should have found someplace else to work. Nevertheless, I remained in the room, and a familiar conflict theme brought memories of our youth, prompting recollections of a song and then a quote by the lead singer. At the end of this mental rabbit trail, I found one concept – embracing grace.
Unmasking “Christianese”: When guiding others in their faith, I often encourage them to shed what I call “Christianese.” These are well-worn sayings or verses that have lost their impact due to overuse. I challenge my counselees to articulate their faith in their own words, which frequently reveals a diminished conviction and confidence.
The danger of Christianese lies in its potential to camouflage our genuine needs behind a façade. This perilous position often goes unnoticed, and I fear that a significant number of Christians unknowingly find themselves trapped there.
Understanding Grace: Many denominations affirm the concept of being “saved by grace through faith.” But what does this truly mean? How many of us can articulate it in a way that is biblically sound, meaningful, and comprehensible? If you attempted to express it, you likely felt overwhelmed. And rightly so. Embracing the grace of God should never be taken lightly. I don’t mean that we must force its importance, but rather that the realization of its significance should permeate from our minds to our hearts.
Romans 3:24 emphasizes our justification as a gift through God’s grace and the redemption found in Christ Jesus. The word that resonates with me here is “gift.” Like any gift, it is up to us how we respond. We can throw it out, place it on a forgotten shelf, or embrace it fully.
Inviting Christ In: I refrain from asking someone to invite Christ into their heart. Revelation 3:20 (NASB95) states, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” This verse reveals that we have the choice to open the door and welcome Him in. He is already seeking us. This truth should resonate not only with unbelievers but also with believers.
Too often, we acknowledge grace within the church walls but allow the world to overpower us once we step outside. Drawing from personal experience, I can attest that a life centered on His love and grace, making it our primary focus, is a much more peaceful way to live than being focused on the worries of the world.
Conclusion: To those who needed to read these words, I encourage you to meditate on them and embrace the joy of His glory. Allow His love and grace to permeate your life, transforming your perspective and guiding your steps.
By avoiding losing His love and grace in Christianese and wholeheartedly embracing God’s them, we can experience the fullness of His presence and live in the radiance of His glory.
If you struggle with your image in Christ or believing that His love and grace are for you, then I invite you to look at my book, How to be a Christian in Today’s World: Shame or Fear of Failure vs. Living Confidently in God’s Love. If you want further assistance, you can always visit my counseling page.