I don’t know about you, but I have been learning is that grace—real grace—is supernatural. Which is to say it is not natural. It is beyond our nature to give the kind of grace God expects of His people. We are compassionate, but only towards the people we like. We are kind…when we are in a good mood. We say we are humble while our thoughts are very proudly critical. We are gentle and patient as long as it is convenient and serves our agenda. And we will forgive on the condition it does not cost too much and the offender repents.
Friends, that is counterfeit grace. And when it comes to light that we have been preaching one thing but practicing another, people come to the only conclusion they can—they were duped.
One of the reasons that churches are struggling so much today is that the grace they preach about is not the grace that they give. They talk about the real thing but then practice something quite diverse from their talk. God says in Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT) The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. And so as with all things valuable in this world, grace has got its counterfeits.
On the other hand, where divine grace is not only preached but practiced in our life together, people come to the opposite conclusion: This isn’t normal. This isn’t how people act. This is profoundly different. Real grace leaves people speechless.