So many of the Christians that I work with in the counseling office really have trouble applying GRACE to themselves. It seems most of us can apply a little grace to another person, but we really have a tough time applying grace to the self.
I had a tough time learning this and I still slip up a lot after many years of knowing the grace of God. I am rough on ME. I should know better. But I’ll let someone else “slide,” as long as they don’t affect me with their “mess.”
We are so good at returning to perfection and the law. The book of Galatians is the apostle Paul’s treatise on this bad habit.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)
What’s the yoke of slavery that Paul is talking about?? In chapter 4, he discusses the two symbols of the two covenants, Hagar and Sarah. Hagar being Mount Sinai corresponding to the first century Jerusalem who are still in bondage (to the law, hence Sinai). And Sarah representing the covenant of promise, fulfilled in Jesus.
When we keep trying to go back and be perfect all on our own, we are returning to Sinai.
I hear some Christians understand the verse (5:1) to mean that we are not to return to the yoke of sin. The fact that we will sin in this life is a given. We cannot stop that! What we can begin to stop – is constantly returning to the law to take my “beatings” there.
If Jesus has set me free, then let me endeavor to stay free!! He died for my freedom, freedom from the law, freedom from a law that is burdensome and hopeless.
Like William Wallace, we must fight to stay free!! We are in a world that has a habit of bringing slavery and control and perfectionism and comparisons and inequalities. We must first fight for our freedom and then work to free others. Wallace couldn’t help to free Scotland from the tyranical English king unless he first felt free in his heart!
He could then have a Brave Heart!