God and Beggars

October 11, 2005

The beggar is a fine example to us when it comes to how we approach God. The beggar is worthy of nothing through his own merit, and knows this fact. He is not a store-owner with goods to provide in exchange for your money. He is not offering some useful service, as a gardener would do, in exchange for your coin. He is not some hero who is counted worthy of monetary reward due to some excellent deed on his part.

No, he is just a man whose begging is for a coin which he has done nothing to earn. He seeks to reap what he has not sown. And likewise must we be when we approach God.

We can do nothing which makes us per se worthy of Divine Grace. No act or deed or thought or belief can allow us to transcend our humanity. We can never, on our own, be good enough for God to grant us anything.

Yet I won't leave you with such a gloomy message. For, despite our inability to be worthy of Divine Grace, we can still be handed that unearned coin. Yes, we, you and I. To those who would say that only the good can receive Grace, I ask, who among you is good? And to those who say that only those with certain knowledge or wisdom can be saved, I again ask, who has complete knowledge and unfailing wisdom?

Yes, God sees our pitiful selves, and grants to us those gifts of which we are by no means worthy. This is not on account of anything we say or think or do, but rather on account of the loving nature of God.

As I have heard before: We are good and just not because we can receive Grace from God -- for we are unable to be good enough or just enough for that. We act in this way because we love God, and seek to act according to His Will -- not for any reward, but simply out of love.