It seems like Christians ought to get what grace is since it is THE thing about Christianity. No other religion has it that God will forgive you if you just accept his forgiveness. In any other faith, you have to live right, you have to really try hard and be moral. And if you don’t live right, you have to atone for your sins. As a Christian if you follow Jesus, your acceptance of his sacrifice is what makes you right with God. It's a gift.
But some Christians are not living like that. Ask someone who has had the misfortune of having any of their sins known by conservative Christians. If you cross the line, especially if you have committed a sexual sin, you may find the community throwing the book at you. You may find yourself an outcast. You can be rejected, shunned, when the whole message of the gospel is that you are accepted when you accept Christ. Somehow it gets lost in the translation that when you really commit a bonafide sin, that is when you really need grace. That is when you need to acceptable and forgiven and affirmed.
In the Christian community, many keep their sins to themselves. It's too emotionally costly, so you keep it a secret. You act nice. You don’t want to let on. You can have all kinds of sins going on in private, but you don’t let it get out of you are really struggling with something. You can feel you would never let your actual sins be known, especially if they are sins you commit on purpose…. the ones you know are wrong but you do them anyway. And, you never let them out if they are sexual. If you are looking at porn, or if you are having an affair, or if you’re sleeping with your boyfriend when you think it's wrong. You keep those private because you have seen others who have their stuff revealed and it goes really bad for them. They get rejected and seen as bad people. So you keep them to yourself.
But doesn’t it seem that when you commit a sin, THAT is the very time when you need the community to embrace you and to love you, if this grace thing is real? You need to be really reassured that you are acceptable cause you already feel like you’re not acceptable. And maybe when you commit a sin, you especially need grace. You can really feel ashamed and you want to be assured you are normal. Especially cause you are just wanting to be loved and when you sleep with somebody, this may be the next best thing to love you have ever had. You don’t really feel loved. You feel used and you try not to feel that way, but you have just had this intense experience with someone and you want it to be real. And you are so vulnerable, your heart is so exposed and people can really hurt you.
I wonder if this is the reason that the Bible says that sexual sin is the only sin that you commit against yourself against your own body. (1 Cor 6:18) You already feel bad. You don’t need criticism or shame. You really need grace. But so often people can’t find that with Christians. You find it with regular folk. But not Christians.
So right when you need especially to be reassured that you are acceptable, you get rejected. Grace can be good idea, and when it’s little sins like not praying enough, it seems like people can be gracious. But if it’s a full on, outright bad thing, alot of Christians don’t know what to do with it. They want to be good, and to stand up for what is good. So they get confused about loving other people, and forget that love is what Jesus said is a summary of what God wants us to do. Love. That’s what people need when they sin.