The full title of Tullian Tchividjian’s latest book is One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World. Pastor Tchividjian emphasizes that in our performance-oriented society, the need for God’s inexhaustible grace has never been more urgent. Real life is long on law and short on grace. While the world operates on and demands two-way, conditional love, the Bible is the story of God’s one-way love (grace) to us. The author defines God’s grace as “unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver.”
We are exhausted because we’re more comfortable with conditionality, reward and punishment. However, maintaining that sense of control is tiring. Although law and judgment can tell us who we are as well as the right thing to do, law and judgment cannot inspire us. Only grace breathes life into our weary, scared bones. The point is not how we fall short of the law, but that we fall short. The arrival of the law leads not to life, but to disobedience and death. It is against the tumult of conditionality that God’s one-way love comes. Jesus met all of God’s conditions so that our relationship with Him could be unconditional.
God’s grace is most transformative when we are at our lowest ebb. One-way love begins where our pride ends. While we celebrate grace when it’s directed toward us, we experience great consternation when grace is directed at our enemies. When we begrudge God’s grace to others or are disobedient to God, it’s because we fail to grasp the depth of God’s one-way love. This love cannot be mandated, it only can be experienced, We truly experience the Gospel when we lay down our arms rather than standing up for ourselves and sticking to our guns. Pastor Tchividjian boldly proclaims that if we haven’t been offended by grace, we probably haven’t encountered the real thing. Everything we need we already possess in Christ. As Robert Capon explains:
“The church . . . is here to bring the world the Good News that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.’ ”
We don’t have to feel exhausted. It is finished!