We hear the phrase a lot. When a leader, a person of seemingly good report, even a celebrity, begins their downward journey from wherever they have been upheld. Grace is that unique combination of forgiveness, encouragement, a second chance, and a standard bearer, fueled by Love. It’s an uncommon concept in an achievement oriented culture and I’ve unpacked it a little more here. So what does it mean to fall from Grace?
It means first that Grace has had something (if not everything) to do with allowing our hero to achieve their position in the first place. It means that they were not perfect to begin with, that their rise was not of their own doing and without fault, and that have been found worthy of the experience of grace, if only for a time.
Until the fall, when the protection of grace is lifted, when not only the judgement but the condemnation comes as well. Our hero has been found to be unrepentant. Now no apology will suffice. There is a price to be paid. And it will come in the forms of reputation, provision, achievements, all the things of value that we tend to measure a life by (at least on this earth). They will be stripped away, otherwise justice will not be served. And at this point, as we look upon their life without grace, we see that justice must be served. A sentence must come down.
It strikes me that in the midst of a fall many rally behind the law and cheer for justice, and the condemnation becomes the focus.
What of grace?