“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
– Ephesians 2:8-9
Grace comes to us through faith. We cannot expect God’s grace to do its work where manipulation and coercion are present, for these are born out of fear and unbelief which are contrary to faith. This is why I find that pressuring others in the name of faith or policing the spirituality of others is silly. How can one say “I am promoting faith by practicing fear?”
How does one know whether one is moving in faith or fear?
Here are some ideas:
– Faith releases to God. Fear grasps for control.
– Faith defends the Gospel. Fear defends the tradition.
– Faith believes that God is sovereign. Fear believes that man can ruin.
– Faith speaks life. Fear gossips.
– Faith looks to Heaven. Fear looks at man (including ourselves).
– Faith says “I know that You are God and I know that you love me. Have your way.” Fear says, “You’re supposed to be God and You’re supposed to love me. Then why this way?”