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.]