God’s grace, given freely, is a humiliation to the ego because free gifts say nothing about being strong, superior, or moral. Thus only our soul can understand grace, never our mind or ego. The ego does not know how to receive things freely or without logic. It likes to be worthy and needs to understand in order to accept things as true. Our ego prefers a worldview of scarcity or quid pro quo, where only the clever can win. That problem—and its overcoming—is at the very center of the Gospel’s plot. It has always been overcome from God’s side.
Our problem is being able to see our part in the Gospel and our ability to receive grace! God’s inclusion of us reveals God’s humility, graciousness, and love. Only inside an economy of grace can we see that God wants free and willing partners. An economy of merit cannot process free love or free anything. “Not servants, but friends” (John 15:15) is God’s plan. Yet to this day, most Christians seem to prefer being servants. Actual divine friendship is just too incredible to imagine.
If we’re honest, culture forms us much more than the Gospel. It seems we have kept the basic storyline of human history in place rather than to allow the Gospel to reframe and redirect the story. Except for those who have experienced grace at their core, we cannot see through the lens of a “new mind” or a “new self” that is significantly different than the cultures it inhabits. The old, tired win/lose scenario seems to be culturally ingrained, whereas the experience of grace at the core of our reality, is much more imaginative and installs anew win/win perspective in our psyche. This has been neglected and unrecognized by most of who claim Christian faith. People who live their entire lives inside of a system of competing, measuring, earning, counting, and performing can’t understand how the win/win scenario of the Gospel would even be interesting or attractive.
Up to now, Christianity has largely mirrored culture instead of transforming it. Reward/punishment, good guys versus bad guys, has been the plot line of most novels, plays, operas, movies, and wars. This is the only way that a dualistic mind, unrenewed by prayer and grace, can perceive reality. As long as we remain inside of a dualistic, win/lose script, the Christian faith will continue to appeal to low-level and vindictive moralism and will not rise to the mystical banquet that Jesus offered us. The spiritual path and life itself will be mere duty instead of delight. We will focus on maintaining order by sanctified violence instead of moving toward a higher order of love and healing—which is the very purpose of grace in the Gospel.
May you explore the ways that we can be healed and transformed by God’s healing grace through prayer and meditation. Join us twice a month on Sundays via Zoom.