Idols Closer to Home

by Jim Wallis May 1979

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works, lest anyone should boast. —Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace is the logic of a loving God. There is nothing we can do to earn it, win it, or deserve it. Grace is simply a gift, not a reward. We can receive it only by faith, not through good works. As familiar as that is to us, we have great difficulty coming to terms with the meaning and reality of grace. We seem to find innumerable ways to deny the grace that is the free gift of God’s love to us. Either we abuse it and make grace self-serving, or we dismiss its reality altogether by acting to establish our own righteousness. In twisting God’s purposes to suit our own or in striving to justify ourselves through our own efforts, we have, in fact, denied the grace of God. In so doing, we have denied ourselves the ability to simply rest in that grace, to be changed and used by God’s love.