I hope you enjoy reading this list of the most popular posts of 2016 as much as I loved writing them!
The fight with fear and self-doubt is universal, but as parent, it seems even worse.
I grew up with the belief that sin was kryptonite for the Christian. Sin would lock you in the belly of a whale, or steal all of your power. For years – decades – that was my understanding of the concept. No more. No less. But what about today? How does sin apply to my life…and yours…today?
This week’s question is another great, seemingly simple question: what does it mean to be a good Christian? Much like last week’s question, in my old life, I would have had a quick answer. I was a black and white religious guy with no room for gray areas. But now that messy grace has transformed my life, I can see how much we need to revisit the basics of our faith, not just for the sake of new Christians, but for those of us who continually need to shed the scales from our eyes.
So what does it mean to be a good Christian?
Each time I hold the tiny plastic cup of grape juice in front of my face, it’s not the death of Christ I imagine, but the life that has been made available to me as a result. The Truth in that cup says that I can face hard days. I can look failure in the eye and move forward. To think that One person could love me enough to die is hard to fathom. But faith calls me to embrace Christ’s sacrifice for me.
The first question in my brand-new ASK STEVE series comes from a Twitter follower, who simply asked, ‘What is grace?’ What a great question. In my years of religious fervor, that would have been the simplest question in the world to answer. ‘Undeserved favor, of course.’ I knew exactly how to regurgitate Christianese on demand.
But how does the person who has started following Jesus as an adult answer that question? The one who wasn’t raised in church and doesn’t have all the knowledge – or baggage – the rest of us have? What is grace to the newbie?
For years, I believed exactly what Christine Caine’s quote says: God can do in a second what you have been unable to do alone for years. But it only led me away from Christ.