Independence is fine, but don’t miss God’s grace

Published 12:52 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By DARRYL WOOD / Guest Columnist

Some people are too self-sufficient for their own good. Andy is one of those. After a leisurely lunch, the server laid the check on the table. Both of us reached for it at the same time. With a deft motion he ripped that thing right out of my hand. And I had a pretty good grip.

“But I invited you to lunch,” I said. “Let me get it.” He shot back, “I don’t plan to leave this earth obligated to anyone. And that includes you.”

Are you an Andy? Do you prefer to make your own way and pay for it all yourself? Do you get uneasy when someone gives you something or compliments you? Do you resent having to ask for help? Then you are an Andy.

True, you can be too dependent on others. But that’s another story. People who insist on an “on my own” attitude flirt with missing something of great value — the grace of God.

Grace is a gift you cannot earn, purchase or steal. It comes to you by way of a God who provides it in spite of yourself.

Note this scriptural reminder. “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16). “Grace upon grace” means God’s desire to shower “grace, grace and more grace” on those who will accept it. But self-sufficient people like Andy struggle with that concept. They run the risk of being too proud to take God up on His offer of grace. And that can have eternal consequences.

Take it from an Andy who’s been there. Give in to the “Principle of Gracious Acceptance” necessary to receive Christ’s grace. Find no shame in taking the gift from a God who loves you more than you love yourself. And next time we do lunch, I’m paying.

The Rev. Dr. Darryl Wood is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Vincent. You can reach him at