When you think about it, there is really no such thing as Grace alone without being Grace Turned Outward. I don’t think you can have it. It’s not like two stages of grace: you get one, and then sometime later, you get the other like some kind of “:second blessing.” When you receive Grace, it forever changes the playing field. It removes the competition. It erases “us” and “them” (there is just “us” — all of us). It’s basically game over on comparison, measurement and judgment.
It’s like you get a new set of eyes. It’s impossible to look down with these eyes. You can only look across and up. That’s because there is no one lower than you. You’ve bottomed out, and it’s a great relief. You find yourself embracing and being embraced by the rest of humanity, and it feels good.
If there is someone lower than you, if there is someone you can compare yourself to and come off better than, or if there is still the need to even engage in this kind of comparison, then whatever it was you thought you got, it wasn’t Grace. It was a pseudo-grace, or a fabricated grace, or a pop-grace, but it wasn’t Grace. It was grace with too much of me in it. Grace is all God. It has nothing of me.
In some Christian circles, Grace is sort of fashionable. It’s the new theology. There are a lot of people talking about Grace today, but I’m not sure they are all talking about the same thing.
I can’t tell who has it and who doesn’t or I would be violating the very thing I’m talking about, but I know it exists. I can’t judge anyone else’s heart; I just know my own well enough to know you can do this (because I have). You can fake it. I am an expert in the nuances of Pharisaism, and I know a Pharisee can possess all kinds of spiritual knowledge and mimic all kinds of spiritual activity.
But the real deal is Grace Turned Outward. It is the heart of the Catch Ministry and what colors all we do here. It is how you know you have received Grace because you can’t receive Grace without giving it away. Grace Turned Outward is the evidence of Grace. It is what indicates that you have received Grace in the first place. You just can’t keep Grace to yourself; you have to give it away.