Philip Yancy says, “The two major causes of most emotional problems among evangelical Christians are these: the failure to understand, receive, and live out God’s unconditional grace: and the failure to give out that unconditional grace – the good news of the Gospel of grace has not penetrated the level of our emotions.”
In other words, most Christians are not walking with grace. They are crawling ... childish in their spiritual development.
You say, “I’ve heard of walking by faith. I just haven’t heard of walking with grace. Isn’t it the same?”
Yes and NO! Here is the problem. Many of us walk by faith “in ourselves” so that we can be gracious to ourselves. Most diets, business plans, and educational aspirations encourage this.
“You can do it! Have faith in yourself.” The assumption being that you have the power within – the grace – to award yourself … a thin body, a successful portfolio, and educational achievements.
When we do this we can only “grace ourselves” from the bank of our own resources. In this case many Christians are not walking with God’s grace but with God’s disgrace -- fallen man -- ourselves.
Take Egypt’s army – they were walking by faith just as the Hebrews, faith that they would be able to cross the Red Sea.
“By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned.” Hebrews 11:29 Msg Bible
To walk by faith with God’s grace requires that we transfer our confidence in ourselves to God: God’s strength, God’s ability, and God’s wisdom. When we do, we will experience God’s goodness, his inexhaustible grace.
You say, “Am I supposed to think I am worthless, inept, and incapable?”
No, you are to think that you are fallen, limited, and needy, dependent on God who is holy, limitless, and sufficient.
“How does this work in the real world of dieting, business, and education?”
Next: How to walk by faith with God’s grace as you try to lose weight.