What keeps us from receiving God’s grace? In no particular order:
Meanness – the world teaches that it’s better to get even than to give grace, like Ralphie beating the snot out of Farkus in A Christmas Story, or the never-ending cycle of retaliation between Israel and the Palestinians, or siblings who won’t even speak to each other.
Despair (hopelessness, anguish) – we define ourselves by what has saddened us, by the wound we make permanent of loved ones lost, of expectations unrealized, and we close our hearts.
Mistrust – we’re afraid someone will take advantage or demand something in return - because you know - that’s what humans do
Pride – ‘I don’t need grace, I’m not going to take it,’ or ‘ I don’t deserve it.’ We get embarrassed or somehow offended when offered grace. Whether you call yourself the victor or a victim, you are saying out of pride that you’re too good to receive grace. We let our pride define us by our dysfunction. I’ve lived both sides of that. Unforgiveness and ingratitude will keep us from receiving grace.
When we choose to hang on to what enslaves us, we are saying ‘no’ to Him who loves us and wants to set us free.
“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:6-7NLT
His grace doesn't depend on us. Praise God