“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
Grace is a Gift from God and it is nothing else. Our salvation is a part of that grace. When we try to make God’s gift into something that it is not, we are forcing a square into a round peg – possible, but very difficult. If we try to make grace into something other than a gift, we are trying to work for our salvation. It turns salvation into slave-ation.
Humans are constantly trying to force nature to obey us. We pave roads and parking lots; we build cities and towns. But if we stop working to keep things the way that we want them, nature takes over. Houses crumble, parking lots become grass fields as trees break up through cracks in the concrete.
God’s grace is like this. If we don’t try to force religion upon ourselves – but just walk and talk with God, building a relationship with Him, naturally – then we learn what UNFORCED grace is. We can accept God’s gift at face value and understand that there are “no strings attached.” God’s gift is Himself, and it is grace that allows this relationship to happen without being forced.