Don’t Let Grace Make You Lazy!
by Jacob Hudgins
Paul never forgot that his past made him an outrageous choice for an apostle. “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God”(1 Cor 15:9). His past was a terrible black mark against him, marring his work and tarnishing his credibility. Yet in Christ he found salvation and a place in His amazing work: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me”(1 Cor 15:10). Grace pushed Paul to work “harder than any of them”.
When we come to Jesus, it is because we feel the weight of our sin. It causes sleepless nights. It leaves us feeling dirty and worthless. It takes the forefront as the great problem of our lives. Then, by the grace of God, we are saved. Our problem is solved. Our burden is lifted. And often, we become lazy and complacent.
But there is another response to grace that is like Paul’s: Grace motivates us to work harder! We know we don’t deserve our place so we give our all to the one who gave his all for us! Paul says that “his grace toward me was not in vain”. God’s grace would have been vain if Paul had been lazy and satisfied, but Paul worked so hard that it was never an issue.
To be sure, we won’t work hard enough to earn our salvation or become worthy of what God has given us. But there is a danger that we will lose our motivation and rest on our laurels because God has been so good. Let’s learn from Paul: don’t let grace make you lazy!