“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver” (Pro 25:11).
One of my favorite movies is “The Princess Bride.” Our family has watched it so many times we just about have it memorized, and we often find lines from the movie inadvertently slipping into our conversations.
In one scene, the dread pirate Roberts (which is actually “my sweet Westley the farm boy” posing as the pirate) is single-handedly sailing a ship in pursuit of rescuing Princess Buttercup (the most beautiful woman in the world), who has been kidnapped by a trio of mistmatched villians made up of Vincinni the smug Sicilian mastermind, Fezzik the rhyming Giant, and Inigo Montoya, the sword-fighting Spaniard bent on avenging his father’s death at the hands of evil Count Rugen, the six-fingered man.
Wesley (posing as the pirate) is gaining on them with great speed despite their efforts to outrun him. Vincinni repeatedly exclaims, “Inconceivable!” He says it so many times that finally the Spaniard says, “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I mention this otherwise meaningless scene to say that many of us today do the same thing with the word ‘Grace.” We keep using the word, but “I do not think it means what you think it means.” We have unintentionally diminished the word “grace” to where it is no longer “a word fitly spoken.” Instead, it has become one more word in the big pot of Christian jargon.
Consider this, and see if it is so. On virtually every occasion that the word “grace” is used in pulpits and prayer closets, as well as in daily conversations, there is an unmistakable inference being made to God’s love, mercy, goodness, favor and blessing – none of which we deserve.
Yes, God loves us – but is that grace? No, that is love. Yes, God is merciful unto us – but is that grace? No, that is mercy. Yes, God is good to us, and favors us with blessings – but is that grace? No, that is God’s goodness. And so on, and so on.
See what I getting at? We keep using the word “grace” as though it were a synonym for God’s love, mercy, goodness, and favor. As a result we are missing out on one of the greatest revelations given by Jesus to His Church, and are consequently living less than the Lord purposes for us.
GRACE — “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I tell you what…step over here for a moment and let me show you something wonderful off in the distance on the other side of this great valley below us…. (to be continued)