Grudging Grace

Faith isn’t Bowling
In bowling one can score a perfect game of 12 strikes.
Faith is different: none of us is perfect in our walk with Christ. Especially me.
A week or so ago I was driving home from work. Two lanes over, a woman in a sedan was caught behind a red light while attempting to change lanes. Her car sat cockeyed, like the white van on the left in this photo. When the light turned green, she waited for a gap between cars in the lane to her left to complete her lane change.
The man in the car behind her blasted his horn, long and loud. He continued honking well after she had moved out of his way, apparently distressed by the 10-second delay she’d caused him.
One block later, the same man was to my right as we came to a stop in the line of cars at the signal. Ahead was a left-turn lane, two lanes wide, leading to a freeway onramp. As we stopped, he lowered his window  and extended his arm. When traffic began to move, he cranked his wheel to nudge in ahead of me.
I held back to allow him room to change lanes. And I thought to myself, “You don’t deserve this.” He zipped in ahead of me, raced into the left-turn lane, and entered the intersection just as the light turned red.

I did the right thing: I showed grace to the hurried and harried driver. But I didn’t feel the right thing. I could have been thinking, “That poor guy must have had a really tough day to be so impatient to get  home.” Or I could have thought, “Wow! He must have some urgent deadline to make!”

Instead, I thought, “What a jerk.”

Then I reflected: If I do the right thing, but bear a grudge in my heart, did I really do right? It makes me grateful that our Father knows our nature and extends salvation through His Son by grace alone–an undeserved gift.

Because if I had to rely on my works for my salvation, I’d be toast.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Romans 7:18-19 (NLT)


  1. Here is my story. I nearly got run over by a car right after I arrived in Moscow. It happened at the airport when I was walking to a parking lot. I was crossing at a crosswalk, but he didn't even slow down when he approached it. Did I think "poor guy, he is in a hurry to meet someone"? no. Instead I shouted at him "Are you nuts?" Hmmm, how christian is that?
    Anyway…Here is what you've got to know before you come to Russia: when crossig a road, make sure there are not cars approaching from any side, because drivers don't yield to pedestrians.

  2. We'll rememeber, Nadya!