Max Lucado: The Biggest Mistake People Make About Grace
That’s a great statement.
Let grace run free. Even when we’re trying to get it figured out, we’re going to have happier people than we are the misery that legalists have created.
In the book, you deal with a number of your personal faults and you share how you discovered grace through them. In one story, you describe your struggles with a drinking issue. There are so many of us—ministry leaders, pastors—that have those things that we hold on to and hide. I wanted to have you share a bit more about that specific story.
People will live with such hidden pockets of guilt. I think it’s just everywhere—that down deep, we feel that we’ve disappointed God, whoever we perceive God to be. We Christians have at our fingertips confidence in God’s grace and His willingness to forgive these sins, and yet we don’t quite know how to do it. Confession is the tool that God gives that brings our hidden sins to the surface and allows God to sit next to us and us to sit next to God and look at that mistake and agree with God and say, “Ok, God, I blew it there. I’m sorry.” And God says, “That’s ok. We can work on this.” And He begins to take that mess and change it into something and make it really special, make it better, bring hope out of it.
There might be a misconception among readers that confession only happens when you go into a sanctuary or when you’re with a priest, but really, confession is a lifestyle. It’s a day-by-day, minute-by-minute honesty with God that allows us to experience His grace every minute of the day.
How can pastors and church leaders become stronger proponents of God’s radical grace? What are some things we can do to make sure we are pursuing and cultivating that kind of ministry in our churches?
Living grace is the first step, living grace in the sense of letting God forgive you, letting Him forgive the impatience you have with your church, letting Him forgive the doubts that you have in your leadership style, letting Him forgive the fumbles and bad decisions that you’ve made. You need to receive grace, first of all.
And then, secondly, studying grace—studying grace yourself and with the church. It’s just such a delightful doctrine. It’s a wonderful discovery. It’s just a beautiful dimension of the Gospel. It is the unique teaching of the Christian faith. No other religion or philosophy dares to suggest that God would come after us. Everything else says we go after God.
So I would say just immerse your church in seasons of grace. This is my second book on grace, but I’ve preached on it in every single sermon series. And I feel like I could preach on it all the time. People just don’t get enough.
So first of all, I’d say let grace come into your life, and then share grace, teach grace and model it. Make sure your church receives regular doses of instruction about grace.
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