For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives … Titus 2:11-12
God’s grace teaches us to say, “No”. Generally in the workplace, if people extend grace or overlook a misdeed they don’t expect it to change people’s behaviour. Commonly it’s thought, if you “give people an inch they will take a mile” meaning they will expect to be shown more leniency in the future. In the world, grace tends to teach people to continue in their wrong behaviour, but God’s grace operates differently.
God’s grace humbles us in a way that punishments and reprimands never do. Punishments are often an ineffective way of changing behaviour. So many criminals re-offend, it’s the same children in trouble at school, parents repeat the same reprimands to their children. However, when we are confronted with God’s grace and fully realize that we’re recipients of the most undeserved mercy and grace, we are humbled and our hearts are changed.
When David experienced God’s grace he wanted to be different, “Create in me, a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). That’s the effect grace is supposed to have on us. When we understand the enormity of our sin in the sight of a holy God, we are humbled.
Dan Allender (professor and author) commenting on grace says, “The cost for the recipient of God’s grace is nothing—and no price could be higher for arrogant people to pay.” Receiving God’s grace is humbling. It makes us realize our inadequacy to live a godly life by our own effort. Ultimately it will motivate us to say “no” to those things which displease God.