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Entries in self-improvement (1)

Thursday
Feb162012

What's the opposite of grace?

The opposite of grace is reciprocity.
You owe God nothing: Obligation isn't a part of grace. Love is, but not obligation.

The opposite of grace is pardon alone. 
The version of Christianity we have today is cruel: It amounts to pardon without palingenesis [i.e. regeneration].   [- Pull that puppy out at your next gathering and you're sure to impress. ] 

"Palin" means "again." "Genesis" means 'birth.' Grace without restoration is cruel; like releasing a man from prison without giving him new internal desires and capacities. Grace has gone beyond forgiveness (pardon) to giving the Christ-follower a new and supernaturally-good heart.

The opposite of grace is rationalization.
Rationalization and self-defense only inhibit our ability to receive.

The opposite of grace is self-improvement.  Growing into a new God-given goodness and radiance, yes.  Even professional mastery, yes.  But efforts at improving our core nature, no.  Why try to be loving when God has made you loving? 

New behaviors [outward signs of an inward renovation] will flow when we cooperate with God as he releases our new super-natural goodness. 

"When you clean the inside of the cup, the outside will also be clean."  - Jesus. 
[Behavior follows heart.]