We live in the world of bait and switch fine print pitches.
The most glaring example is that of prescription drug company commercials. You know, the unpronounceable pills that cure depression yet have suicidal thoughts as a side effect? Or the miracle drug that cures your migraines yet gives you bouts of diabolical dysentery?
Or the erectile dysfunction pills that may work so well you have to go to the doctor to get them to…er….”unwork.” In some cases, the cure is worst than the disease.
“What’s the catch?” is the question that’s been embedded into our skeptical psyche. For any good thing we suspect somewhere hiding behind it is a thousand tiny qualifications ready to pop out and sucker punch us with reality…at the most inopportune time of course.
It’s most sad when we do this with the best news. Unconditional love is a fairy tale among children of men yet the under-girding reality of God. So when sacrificial no-fine-print affection shakes us awake with the gospel we miss this free acceptance looking deeper for the catch. Certainly there is a huge “but” in all this, right?
“He loves me as I am, but….”
“Sure, His grace is amazing but…”
And we brace for a thousand religious conditions to rain down on our love parade. We’re enamored by all this talk of grace yet live in a constant half-hearted hesitancy that it’s too good to be true. Pretty soon, God’s patience with our addictions and pet sins will dry up, and He’ll wash His hands clean from the mess we’ve made of our lives.
Not a Dreamsicles chance in hell.
We can prod people ad nauseam towards more radical living. But an apprehension of radical grace naturally begets radical living. An apprehension of the unfair grace in Christ that gives us what He deserves and gives Him what we deserve.
The life shaking revelation that in Christ there is nothing I can do that will make God love me more than He does right now. And reciprocally, there is no personal sin past, present, or future that will make God love me less than He does right now.
Unconditional love that has no earthly category.
In Christ, you’re totally irrevocably accepted as you read this.
No pre-existing conditions.
No fuzzy fine print.
No pesky strings attached.