Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely;
the peace of God given to the restless; the
unmerited favor of God. –Anonymous
Grace to Cancel the Cancel Culture
Cancel culture has become a popular theme in our present age. It, in some sense, serves as a punishment for public misbehavior or misconduct of an individual or group. Rather than educating a population of people who need it, we have decided to eradicate them from the face of the earth. Taking away their connections, livelihoods, opportunities and ultimately exiling them from their communities. We, in essence, make a decision of finality about their future and who they can become. It almost sounds like “you’ll never work in this town again”; because we have decided that the actions of their past will dictate their future. Prior to the gift of salvation, we lived in a cosmic cancel culture. The ways in which we mishandled and mismanaged the gift God deposited put us in jeopardy of being canceled.
Cancel Culture has given us the power to cancel anyone and doesn’t suggest to us that we too can be cancelled. Cancel Culture contradicts the modern understandings of our faith. While I do believe that people should be held accountable for their actions, I don’t believe that cancelling them is the best display of our faith. I argue this because it doesn’t actually solve anything other than putting the person in a perpetual place of guilt and shame. The problem with cancel culture is that it doesn’t provide the space for people to be human and fix the errors of their ways. Before there was a publicized cancel culture, we described this as someone getting knocked off of their pedestal.
This is a tough idea! The idea that one of my past immature actions could be the precursor to how I spent the rest of my life. This is the issue of the criminal justice system, in that when released the identity of human beings will always be described as ex-convict or ex-offender. In some sense, their past is all they will ever be. Similar to the criminal justice system, cancel culture attempts to use past identifiers as permanent qualifiers. The ability to cancel has become a common nature, which puts us all in a place of limbo. Think about one thing, in your past, that you have done that could get you cancelled. We all have at least one thing, that if God chose to be as petty as we are, God could have cancelled us for. Here is where grace comes in for us.
The true essence of Grace is that we knowingly do not deserve it! Nothing about the concept of grace is relegated to our humanity or personhood. On the contrary, we receive Grace based on the Goodness of God. The realization that we don’t deserve the grace we receive reminds us to be treat it as a gift. What we know of grace is that there is no shortage because despite the situation that has tried to overtake or consume, Paul has reminded us that God’s grace is sufficient. Based upon the measure that is needed, God grants; proving that God is not only good but God is gracious. We get to see the benefits of Grace in our lives everyday, even in the places where we don’t recognize it. And that moment when we cut someone off in traffic and it could have caused an accident but doesn’t, that’s grace. When we come in contact with a sickness that doesn’t overtake us or overwhelm us, that’s grace. When we’ve done something wrong and have not gotten reprimanded for the action to the measure which we deserved, that’s grace. When the stuff that would have gotten us canceled, but God didn’t allow to break us, that’s grace.
If it had not been for Grace:
- Noah would be remembered as a drunk
- Moses would be remembered as Murderer
- Rahab would be remembered as harlot
- David would be remembered as an adulterer
- Paul would be remembered as a persecutor of the church
- Peter would be remembered for his denial
- Johnmark would be remembered as a quitter
- Dismas, the thief on the cross, wouldn’t have gone to paradise
So, how do we as Grace Recipients, reciprocate the grace that we have been given? We remember that we are dust and to dust we will return. With that in mind, we acknowledge that there is no such thing as clean dust. We all have some dirt and our lives, that should have gotten us canceled and probably would have gotten us canceled. But, God’s office to let none of that be the situation for our lives, which shows the potency of his grace. That grace, the unmerited favor of God, the love that God shows to those who are on love, the ways that God makes for the marginalized, and the ways in which God changes our narratives. If God can give us second chances, we have to learn how to hold people accountable and give them grace to grow beyond the event. All because we serve the God of a second chance, and that’s Grace! Beloved of God, let’s cancel this idea that people must live within the margins of our reality and circumstances; and when they don’t let’s give them the grace we desire.