Grace and Holiness

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Sometimes, those of us who herald the message of grace are accused of using it as a get-out-of-jail-free card to excuse all sorts of rotten behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the risk of sounding harsh, I’ve got to say that those who equate grace with the license to sin do not understand grace at all.

A lover wants nothing more than to bring delight to the object of his or her affection. Think about it: my love for my husband drives me to find out what he likes and then do it; why wouldn’t my love for God drive me to find out what pleases Him and then do it?

Living by grace doesn’t cancel out living righteously—in fact, it makes it possible in the first place. Love for grace increases one’s desire for purity because, after all, Jesus the Grace-Giver is holiness itself. I was created to be like Jesus, and thus I want to braid my soul with His; I want to look like Him. I know He loves me no matter how ugly I’m behaving at the moment, but that’s not the real me. The real me extends mercy to all, loves the broken, is full of joy, and walks in holiness. The Vicki who behaves selfishly is unfinished—totally loved by God, but incomplete and groaning for completion.

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