The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.
- Steven James
Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good — above all, that we are better than someone else — I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but the devil. The real test of being in the presence of God is that, that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether…Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.
- C.S. Lewis
The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, [God's] love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.
- C.S. Lewis
“I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge.” — Bono
What comes around goes around…What ye sow, so shall ye reep…You get what you deserve. The world is built on these expressions of karma, the idea that you if you do good things in life, then you’ll be rewarded; if you do bad, then you’ll get punished. Look around and you’ll see karma everywhere. In school, your diploma depends on your ability to know the correct answers. At work, your worth to the company is based on how well you perform in your job. Within the marketplace, you matter only so much as your credit rating.
Religion smacks of karma as well. Hindus believe how you live this life determines what sort of creature you are in the next. Obedience to the Five Pillars of Islam is the ticket to Paradise for Muslims. In Judaism, Mosaic Law proclaims “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” What’s more, all you hear coming out of some Christian circles is a long list of “do’s and don’ts”. Every part of our lives seems to depend on our ability to measure up. When we succeed, life can feel pretty good. But, when we don’t make the cut, life sucks.
Yet, regardless of how well we thrive in school or a career, there’s one area of our lives in which we instinctively know that we don’t measure up: our relationship with God. Our conscience screams of our failure. Personally, I can’t go a day without sinning, let alone a lifetime. Just when it looks like we are doomed, however, something amazing happens: a sudden, miraculous, and unexpected twist occurs in our story. Like a meteor from above, grace crashes into this bleak and hopeless existence. Grace transforms the worst possible situation into the best promise imaginable. In the song “Grace” [Lyrics] [iTunes], U2 explores this otherworldly stuff called grace, which is the idea at the very heart of what Jesus Christ – and authentic Christianity – is all about.