Stupid Grace For Chris Brown, Cheap Grace For Me.
I actually watched the Grammy Awards the other night. If I have to be honest as to why, I remember seeing a thing on Twitter about signing a petition to get the Muppets to perform during the Academy Awards, for which they are nominated in a category. Since I have no idea what the difference is between the Academy Awards and the Grammys, I watched the entire Grammys expecting a segment where the Muppets were nominated for an award (and probably winning the award) and was hopeful that they allowed them to perform. I was disappointed on all accounts, and it wasn’t until later that I realized that the Muppets are nominated for an Academy Award, not a Grammy.
Like I said though, I watched the whole terrible thing. I really don’t get into celebrities, pop music, or dumb performances at all. Maybe I’m too old or something, but I can’t name one Lady Gaga song, have no idea who that guy dressed as Mickey Mouse DJing was, and I could really care less about awards shows.
But someone came on screen a few times that really, I don’t know, set me off. As much as you try to stay away from pop culture, it has a way of lurking into your life. I saw Chris Brown perform/lip sync, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. Then, later in the program, he performed again and it sort of set me off on a rampage that has actually got me to this point here.
If you don’t know, Chris Brown is an entertainer who beat up his celebrity girlfriend, Rihanna, a couple years back. I mean, he beat her pretty bad; I’ve seen a couple pictures that I will not link to. Watching him on the Grammys really irritated me, and apparently a few others on social media sites, because I couldn’t shake the images of what he did from him as a person or entertainer.
He was dancing around of stage and I couldn’t help but wonder what gave him the confidence AS A MAN to be doing that, how could he beat up a woman then still be dancing? I got the feeling that he felt that he was invincible to the world around him.
I sent out a few tweets in a negative tense towards Chris Brown (and the lack of Muppets) and it just kept eating at me. The next day, I woke up and still had this anger towards the situation. Then I got put in my place…
God forgave him.
And that is really stupid if you ask me.
But it is still true.
God forgave him.
And I can be stewing and storming around angry at the Grammys for letting him perform twice, and I get be upset at him for dancing around and not singing, but I have to realize that his sins have settled right next to mine at the bottom of the ocean.
And again, that is really stupid because I’ve never punched a woman, but that’s not to say I’ve never done anything that doesn’t need grace that I don’t deserve either.
The day after the Grammys, I got stuck thinking about how no one deserves grace, yet we all get it and we all take advantage of it. Chris Brown still gets to dance despite his transgressions. I will one day get to dance in spite of my past and my sins, and that is a beautiful thought.
I do not deserve the grace that God offers, but I accept it. Not only do I accept it, I abuse it. I take something that deserves to be sacred and special and make it cheap. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our church. We are fighting today for costly grace.”
In his book The Cost of Discipleship he continues, “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
I hope that I can find grace and not come by it cheaply, but accept the cost that is required for it. Grace is free to all, but grace is not free.
No longer can we take advantage of the death of Jesus for ourselves. That is cheap grace. That is stupid grace.