So I’m inviting GOD to do something imperfectly, because I do everything Imperfectly. Say that again? What did that just imply? Am I asking GOD to do a half-job of forgiving me?
No, it’s all or none. But there is a special condition. How many of us are prepared to face, no dissimulation, no pulled punches, our thorough going imperfectness. How many of us are prepared to come before GOD and confess “with a broken and contrite heart?”
It’s such an existential challenge that just about everyone (I only know one person well, myself) – everyone I know well is far happier to waltz through that section and believe I’ve forgiven everyone everything that needs any of my forgiving-of.
Fortunately GOD forgives perfectly when I forgive imperfectly, or I would be beyond grace. But grace is a gift; to accept it, I do, believe it or not, I do need to reach that state of “broken and contrite heart” before grace really washes over me.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a titanic theologian of the first half of the 20th Century, wrote several books aimed at pastors-to-be, students in his seminary. For a layman to read his books is a tremendous challenge. Nonetheless I discovered in “Cheap Grace” the way to distinguish between facing the challenge of grace, and waltzing.