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Relationships: A Grace Mentality

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Last blog we discussed what it meant to live in our relationships with An Investment Mentality.  Here's the third and final mentality:


When I got married, I didn’t understand grace. I had a principle-istic view of Scripture that caused me to bring a law economy into all of my relationships.

The central focus of the Bible is not a set of practical principles for life. No, the central theme of the Bible is a person, Jesus Christ. If all you and I needed was a knowledge and understanding of a certain set of God-revealed principles for living, Jesus wouldn't have needed to come.

I think there are many Christians living in Christ-less relationships. Without knowing what they're doing, they construct law-based rather than grace-based relationships. And because of this, they ask the law to do what only grace can accomplish.

The problem with this is that we're not just people in need of wisdom; we're also people in need of rescue—and the thing that we need to be rescued from is us. Our fundamental problem is not ignorance of what is right. Our problem is selfishness of heart that causes us to care more about what we want than about what we know is right.

The laws, principles, and perspectives of Scripture provide the best standard ever towards which our relationships should strive. They can reveal our wrongs and failures, but they have no capacity whatsoever to deliver us from them. For that we need the daily grace that only Jesus can give us.

We must not simply hold one another to the high relational standards of God’s Word, but we must also daily offer the same grace that we've been given to one another so that we may be tools of grace in the lives of one another. Our confidence is not in the ability we have to keep God’s law but rather in the life-giving and heart-transforming grace of the One who has drawn us to himself and has the power to draw us to one another.

When we live with this confidence, we look at the difficulties of our relationships not so much as hassles to be endured, but as opportunities to enter into an even deeper experience of the rescuing, transforming, forgiving, empowering grace of Jesus, the One who died for us and is always with us.

Three mentalities—each an essential building block for a healthy biblical, relational lifestyle. Each require the honesty of personal humility, and each encourage us to be reconciled to one another and to God again and again and again.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

Posted on September 13, 2012