VOICES OF THE GRACE MOB :: GRACE BIAS
Posted by: Mohan (a member of THE GRACE MOB)
When I was 16, I worked at a pet store in the mall. It was the worst job I’ve ever had.
Unless I get into roadkill removal, I imagine it’ll remain the worst job I’ve ever had. There are many reasons, but guilty memories is one of them.
See, when animals got sick, we kept them in the back (to prevent a zombie uprising), and while I worked there, we had two perpetually sick cats. One of my jobs was to give them their daily eye and mouth drops. One cat was really cute, and the other was a tumbleweed with a tail. The cute one was mild-mannered and harmless, while the tumbleweed cat was angry and made my face swell up from allergies.
Sadly, I paid more attention to the cute one, and “forgot” to give tumbleweed his meds pretty frequently. I justified it by reminding myself that I was allergic, and thus couldn’t be held accountable for my actions.
Right. And sick cats cause zombification.
God’s grace is unconditional, and we’re called to dispense that grace in our daily lives. Unconditionally. That means the what doesn’t matter, but also that the who doesn’t matter. Lost, found, and everything in between -- we all need grace.
But consider this: who is it easier to show grace to? Lost people, or “saved” people?
Who is easier to offer prayer to? Who is easier to send a Bible verse to? Who is easier to invite to small group? Who is easier to follow up with during Sunday service? Who is easier to unexpectedly drop a meal off to?
For me, the answer is often someone who’s saved. Why? Because they “get” it. Prayer, scripture, random kindness, and fellowship are part of their DNA. The only activation energy to overcome is my laziness.
Someone outside the church, on the other hand, is all kinds of complicated: Do I need to ask permission to pray or read scripture? Will they think it’s weird that I’m dropping food off? Will they drop an f-bomb at my Bible study?
This conflict is a tragedy, and it's going on in my own life. Maybe it's in yours too.
What we're talking about here is an unconscious bias in the way we approach grace in our everyday lives. And here is the danger: bias perpetuates itself. If one kind of person is consistently shown grace, and another person is consistently ignored, the gap between the two grows bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Until you're afraid to bring a plate of cookies to someone because you worry they'll think you're weird.
It's easy to say "I'm called to minister to the church" and use all your energy as such. It's your calling, right? Well, so is this: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."
So, make unconditional grace a purposeful part of your life. Join me in recognizing and fighting the Grace Bias early and often. Pray for opportunities, and take them as they arise. Love with abandon; spread grace scandalously!
And seriously, watch out for sick cats and zombie germs.
Is there a Grace Bias in your life? How do YOU fight the bias?
Engage each other below! I know not everyone views this the same way.