I first heard the phrase “grace on tap” when I read Phillip Yancey’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace. Yancey explains that christians have an endless supply of grace that flows to them from God and in turn should flow thru them. We have this abundant supply of grace so that we may offer grace like it’s on tap. Unmerited favor and God’s love in action — on tap.
God places people in our lives who are thirsty for grace and christians ought to be the ones who serve up grace the quickest, yet I struggle to be that generous with grace. So why is that?
I believe some of us hesitate to offer grace, because deep down…we haven’t accepted God’s grace for ourselves. We falsely believe we have to earn our grace, therefore others have to earn our grace as well.
Or perhaps we believe that grace is conditional for us, so we make it conditional for others.
Or maybe, we have seen people misuse grace so we feel it’s our “duty” to decided who deserves grace and who doesn’t.
And sometimes we are only willing to give grace when it is convent for us.
Either way, we treat grace like it is a resource that is to be divvied out to those who we deem worthy to receive it. We gauge another persons value upon what they look like, smell like, sound like and act like. Or we check out their track record and quickly tally up the amount of grace we think they deserve.
But just think about those words, grace on tap… that is grace that is released at just the turning of a valve. With just one slight adjustment, the grace from heaven is let loose here on earth. That adjustment is a heart change.
The problem is we are looking for the heart change to take place in the wrong person. We cannot expect someone who has never experienced grace to have a heart change, but you can. You have already experienced that grace, you know it’s benefits, so if you and I would let our heart’s change first (turn the valve), we would open up not only a flood of grace on that soul in front of us, but also on our own soul.
The heart change we need, is to be willing to see that person as God originally created them. We have to look under the muck and grime of every person to see the original. Helmut Thielicke says it this way:
Jesus gained the power to love harlots, bullies, and ruffians…he was able to do this only because he saw through the filth and crust of degeneration, because his eye caught the divine original which is hidden in every way…When Jesus loved a guilt-laden person, he saw in him an earring child of God. He saw in him a human being whom his Father loved and grieved over because he was going wrong. He saw him as God originally designed and meant for him to be, and therefore he saw through the surface layer of grime and dirt to the real man underneath…Jesus was able to love men because he loved them right through the layer of mud.
If you have a relationship with anyone, you have an opportunity to provide grace on tap. And if you are struggling to see past the muck and mud of their lives, then ask God to give you the eyes to see and love them like He does. Remember you were in need of grace at one point too! And maybe it is yourself that you are having a problem giving grace to, if so, ask God to give you the eyes to see yourself the way He sees you.
P.S. I am not a pro at giving grace, but I am learning. Aside from the bible, here are a few great books that I recommend to read that helped me. You can click on the titles and that will give you more information about those books