The concept of grace as the ultimate message of the bible was made popular by Philip Yancey’s book What is so Amazing about Grace? which was a huge Christian bestseller. The book looks into the life of Christ and the importance that his life had in fulfilling God’s grace – the key to any of humanity having a relationship with him. What is found in this examination actually presents a conundrum to Christian theology. Even non-Christians can tell you that being a Christian should mean that you are held up to a higher standard of morality, but are Christians, as flawed humans, actually capable of behaving better than others? Yancey says this question is beside the point.
What God’s grace actually means to people is that they are forgiven in the truest sense of the word. It means that following legalities is an empty pursuit, while following the ways of true, selfless love is what the life of Christ made available to us. Christ died for us because we were never capable of being godly on our own. A sacrifice had to be made to atone us, to make us suitable to be in the presence of God, and with this sacrifice the expectation of following rules was also put to death. Now, the pure and simple act of accepting God’s perfect grace, love and forgiveness that was granted to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ is the means to paradise. There is no longer penalty under the law of morality, only the choice to accept love or deny love.
What this means to addicts is that perfection is not expected. God knows that you are flawed. Addiction is a difficult thing to tend to in your life, and it can be impossible to kill. Rather than following rules to kill addiction on your own, God calls you to accept his perfect love for you, flawed as you are, and let it change and mold your life. For whoever truly accepts the love of Christ will be changed from the inside out. Your old ways will become forgotten and will be replaced by a fierce and powerful love as Christ lives in you. The potential to backslide is always there and can be let in the door through the choices you make, but God’s grace is the ultimate way of tending to your addiction and keeping it pushed out.