The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
How does our understanding of grace affect our most important relationship of all–our relationship with God? For one thing, it affects our understanding of sin. People who push bad grace have been duped by what Hebrews 3:13 calls “the deceitfulness of sin.”
Bad grace says that God establishes all these rules and regulations just to rob us of true happiness and fulfillment. That is what the serpent told Eve about the forbidden fruit in the garden. He said, “God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). In other words, “God is withholding something good from you–He obviously cannot be trusted to give you what is best for you.” When you sin, it shows how little you think of God. It is a no-confidence vote in Him. People who practice bad grace have been deceived about the nature of God when it comes to sin.
They are also deceived about the nature of sin itself. Again, they think God is keeping something exciting from our lives. The serpent said to Eve, in essence, “If you eat from this tree, you will not die; in fact, you will be more alive than you have ever been!” Satan continues that same temptation today, but he does not need a serpent to deliver it–he uses the flickering images on a television screen, the pixels on a computer screen, and the glossy pictures in a magazine to convince us that sin is not bad but wonderful.
But as Simone Weil observed, “Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring.” I was reminded of that observation when I was counseling a man who had been addicted to pornography. When that grew boring to him, he started frequenting upscale gentlemen’s clubs. But he felt disconnected from the performers, and he decided what he really needed was an extra-marital relationship. When his wife discovered some poorly hidden emails, she ordered him out of the house. That was okay; he had found the love of his life–until his new lover dumped him for somebody else. He found out that in the end, sin is not all it is cracked up to be. As Solomon said, “The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword” (Proverbs 5:3-4). Those who purvey bad grace have a distorted understanding of sin.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Good-Grace Spirituality” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Simone Weil, “Gravity and Grace,” trans. Arthur Wills (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), 120.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org