In Romans St. Paul tells us that we are not “under law but under grace” (6:14). Jesus’ death has saved us from our sins, he has saved us from ourselves. And so we are free to live in grace. But do we live in grace? Or do we live in fear, worry, anxiety and stress?
I live in fear too often. I may have good cause, based on past experience, and if I listed those experiences here you might even agree with me that my fear is justified. But it isn’t. Not if I am a person of faith. I’m not suggesting there can never be moments, after all, I am human. However, when the fear takes over and I forget that I walk under grace, that is forgetting what Jesus has done for me.
I’m not speaking of the fear you have when someone is very sick or has been in an accident. I’m speaking of the fear that whispers “don’t do it; you’ll look foolish; you might fail; it could hurt.” Those whispers come not from God but from the evil one. It is that fear that keeps me from being who God is calling me to be.
How do I rid myself of that fear? Prayer, reading scripture and remembering these verses:
“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. “ John 10:10b
“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” Jer 29:11
“the messenger of the LORD appeared to him and said: The LORD is with you, you mighty warrior! “ Judges 6:12
The image here of Jesus’ love and mercy pouring over all of us and washing away our sin is very powerful. By being washed in his love and mercy we can learn how to extend the same to all those we meet. As we look at the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the line, “break my heart for what breaks yours” becomes a prayer.
When I listen to this song I am reminded that it is when we approach Jesus with humility that we can accept his mercy. A proud person or one unaware of their sins has no need for mercy. Trading a worldly crown for Jesus’ mercy gives us what we need to be who God calls us to be.