Tag Archives: donald

Accepting grace and the charity of God

Today was I flipping through the pages of Blue Like Jazz by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller. While scanning the notations and pages filled with highlights and stars, I came across one of my most favorite passages in the book.  The passage was about grace and why we sometimes have a hard time accepting it.  “It seemed wrong to me,” Donald says, “to not have to pay for my sin, not to feel guilty about it or kick myself around.  More than that, grace did not seem like the thing I was looking for.  It was too easy.”

Donald continues on by explaining how he was enlightened on the subject of grace while at a grocery store.  The story begins when he recalls seeing a lady in front of him pay with food stamps.  Donald wished that he could buy her groceries or help her out in some other way, but he knew that would only cause a greater scene.  But now, I will let Donald tell you the rest of his own story…

“On the drive over the mountain that afternoon, I realized that it was not the woman who should be pitied, it was me.  Somehow I had come to believe that because a person is in need, they are candidates for sympathy, not just charity.  It was not that I wanted to buy her groceries, the government was already doing that.  I wanted to buy her dignity.  And yet, by judging her, I was the one taking her dignity away…

I love to give charity, but I don’t want to be charity.  This is why I have so much trouble with grace.

A few years ago I was listing prayer requests to a friend.  As I listed my requests, I mentioned many of my friends and family but never spoke about my personal problems.  My friend candidly asked me to reveal my own struggles, but I told him no, that my problems weren’t that bad.  My friend answered quickly, in the voice of a confident teacher, ‘Don, you are not above the charity of God.’  In that instant he revealed my motives were not noble, they were prideful.  It wasn’t that I cared about my friends more than myself, it was that I believed I was above the grace of God…

As I drove over the mountain that afternoon, realizing I was too proud to receive God’s grace, I was humbled.  Who am I to think myself above God’s charity?  And why would I forsake the riches of God’s righteousness for the dung of my own ego?”

Blue Like Jazz

pages 83-85

Have you had a problem with accepting God’s grace?  Remember that even you are not above the charity of God.