Our pledges of good behavior are only as good as the people who make them—which is to say, not good at all. The litter of our broken promises to change, reform, and improve ourselves stretches back like resolutions at the end of January. And we aim too low. We have in mind trying to suppress our angry words. Christ has in mind an entirely new vocabulary grounded in the knowledge that we—and all others—are deeply loved by Him. We imagine chocolates as the foible we intend to fix. Jesus knows that fear is at the root of all our failing—fear of the Father, of each other, of the future. And so His first word to us at every moment of doubt and discouragement is an assurance of His care: “You can stop being afraid now.” Grace always meets us where we are, but never leaves us where we were. The greatest and most joyful change is lived by those who most receive the gift of grace. So stay in grace. -Bill Knott
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