This is a reposting from January 5, 2012. I came across this quote again but realized I had already used it. Since I used it before Jenny and I were appointed to Abilene First UMC, I think I can get away with posting it again.
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace-only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” — Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
I think that’s a very concise statement of an important theological distinction. All to often Christians have assumed that we have to be perfect to merit God’s acceptance of us. This is wrong, God loves us as we are. But on the other side of the coin, that great truth that God loves us as we are is all to often taken to mean that God is satisfied with us as we are, which is not true. God wants us to draw near, to become more like Jesus Christ, to strive, with the help of God’s grace, for perfection in love (loving God and our neighbor to our utmost capacity, a capacity that increases with practice).