Memes. They can be discrete little highlights in our day. Or annoyances.
Maybe a “Christian” meme gave you just the encouragement you needed in a dark moment. Maybe a meme from a competing moral worldview darkened your day.
My concern are memes which, though possibly true in their greater context, are too easily misconstrued in their contextless state. We lift a thought out of its surrounding context, and then it can mean anything. Consider the following that I saw this week:
God loves me just the way I am
Is this true? Yes. But it’s incomplete. And therein is the danger. And the danger isn’t illusory, for I also easily found what people did with it, using this thought to justify their immoral behaviour. We take “God loves me as I am” and conflate it with “I don’t need to change…because God loves me just the way I am.”
If God wanted me otherwise, He’d have created me otherwise.
And this one was shockingly easy to find in larger memes then self-justifying any and all moral states of humanity. Think of it with me Socratically for a moment out at the logical/illogical extreme: A person says they’re born to love (sexually) children, and thus uses this thought to sexually abuse children. Does that make it ok? If God created me that way, well then it must be okay, goes the thinking. Another says they were born to kill - I’m a natural born killer. That’s my greatest fulfillment and pleasure. Does this justification make all their killing ok?
You see how meme-thinking is fertile ground for erroneous thinking. It’s not deep thinking at all. Quite the opposite. It’s not really thinking at all, but rather mere emotional self justifications for the way I am.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH GRACE?
Some have been paralyzed by a meme sized image of God’s grace in their lives. Specifically, if we only see grace as the equivalent of forgiveness and nothing more, then our image of God’s grace is way too small. And being too small, we become paralyzed by tiny grace. Limited grace. Inadequate grace.
We end up becoming “Eeyore Christians,” or as Dallas Willard said, we are believers suffering from “miserable sinner theology.” This is NOT what God has in mind for you or me!
The GOOD NEWS is that God’s grace in its full spectrum is rich, wonderful, abounding, transforming and even too great for us to totally comprehend!
In this week’s message, we explored The Paralysis Problem in two parts (it paralyzes both us and Jesus!), and The Provision Solution in two parts, too.
And, even more important, was the Application section. This is both interactive between you and a good Christian friend as you use the dialogue questions to “activate grace” together, and the “yoked with Christ” self-assessment in three ways, too. These three ways are expressed in our mission statement: Love God. Love Others. Serve our world.
Interested? Listen to the whole message on our sermons podcast page now. This is my adaptation of Ray Hollenbach’s message of the same name and branding (purchased for our use through SermonCentral.com) Then, use the contact form, reply, and let us know how God is moving in your life in greater measures of His grace today! And, while you’re at it, SHARE this with a friend who needs more liberating and empowering grace of God today!