I’ve been a good person.
Okay, just between you and me, I’ve been a bad person. Sometimes.
But I’ve been good more than I’ve been bad – or at least, my good intentions outweigh the bad.
Well, nobody’s perfect!
The other side of the karma coin is this; while we seem to have it ingrained in our human nature to want others to pay for the wrong things they’ve done, especially to us, – “What comes around, goes around” (see part 1: http://wp.me/p4IMMy-3R) we have this inborn desire for ourselves; to receive grace. To *not* have to pay for the wrong we’ve done. To be forgiven. Dismissed. Free.
Can both of these desires be written on the heart of every person?
Suppose you’re baking a cake. It’s not just any cake, it’s your daughter’s wedding cake so it must be perfect. As you’re working away in an immaculate baker’s kitchen, your three-year-old nephew comes trouncing in from the garden. He’s been digging. He’s covered in mud. Worms.
He wants to help.
“Sure!” you say. “Wash up!” Whoa whoa whoa whoa….hold up, here. Wash up? You have children of your own. You know he can’t reach the faucet, work the soap dispenser, properly scrub up or even find a towel to dry off without help.
He is helpless to clean himself.
But you love him! Shouldn’t you just let him help with the cake, anyway? You don’t want him to feel bad, after all. Just let him clean up best he can and you’ll overlook the dirt. But will your cake be something you’d be proud to serve your guests?
I’m thankful that when I come to the sink grubby and dirty, Jesus washes me clean. I don’t have to try to be perfect on my own. This takes faith. But it’s how he disrupts “karma” and fills me with enough grace to be overflowing.
The messy thing about grace is that it can hurt to let others off the hook. Anyone can be gracious on a good day, but being filled with an understanding of eternal grace empowers me to want it for others on my worst day.