Why is the gospel of grace so hard for so many of us to grasp? It’s because we don’t think grace. We live in a structured society and we think structure. There are 10 things that tend to block a gospel of grace mindset, and we all suffer from these, to various degrees, in our modern, western worldview.
(1) We are RATIONAL minded in the western modern world. We are head driven more than heart driven. Earlier people were more relational minded and heart driven then we often tend to be. We often use our minds to protect our hearts.
(2) We are DEDUCTIVE minded, analytical, and we conclude most things on our life experience. Former people were more inductive and collective in thought, not so self focused and individualistic. Psychology sometimes calls us narcissistic. We arbitrarily adopt positions if they benefit us. Earlier people were more flexible and humble than we are.
(3) We are MATERIAL minded: our materialistic society is talked about very often. Former people were more intuitive and mystical minded than we are today.
(4) We are REACTIVE minded. Our attitude is ‘sue the bastards,’ as the saying goes. Former people were more forgiving and tolerant. Today we hear about ‘road rage.’ We’d rather confront others than change ourselves.
(5) We are DOGMATIC minded. We like to know we’re right. 1 plus 1 must always be 2. Or is it 3 in our way of thinking? We are structured in our thoughts, and if anyone tries to change us!
(6) We are SKEPTICAL minded. This is rightly so, in many ways. We have so much advertising, and so many philosophies, opinions and persuasions thrown at us (especially in an election year like now), that we become ultra-cautious. After all, we have more church denominations than Wikipedia can even count.
(7) We are RECOGNITION minded. All arrows point to us.We want rewards for what we do and say (even in heaven). We are tuned into radio station WIIFM: “What’s in it for me?” We all have MMFI printed on our forehead: “Make me feel important.” We view things more in a personal rights type of thinking than the common good.
(8) We are LEGAL minded. The USA is the most litigious culture in the world. We are trained to think LAW about everything. The gospel doesn’t fit the legal human thinking we’ve been conditioned to think.
(9) We are CRITICAL minded. Any degree of legal thinking makes us critical minded and judgmental. Legal thinking creates a type of ‘measuring rod’ where everyone of us comes up short.
(10) We are RESPONSIBILITY minded. We are self-driven. We think in terms of us being ‘self made.’ Other earlier people in the Bible were much more sovereign minded than we are. They were much more God-driven than self-driven. We tend to think in terms of human adequacy and sufficiency, which are totally anti-gospel. The gospel is based on the finished work of the cross of Jesus.