To be honest, Laurie would likely tell you that my successes far outnumber my failures. In fact disasters are actually quite rare. The problem for me is that it doesn’t feel that way. I feel like every time I’m at the grill I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m out on awfully thin ice. I’m usually surprised if the meat is actually cooked the way it should be.
Perhaps you are thinking, “so what?” Why the big deal about grilling? As I was cooking some meat on the barbecue recently I was thinking about this whole thing and realized that it is another manifestation of the fallen human condition. We want so desperately to be justified, to be judged to be competent, adequate to the task whatever it may be. It may not be a big thing. After all, I don’t really stress that much over barbecue issues. I’m not going to consider myself worthless or my life hopeless if I mess up a meal some time. But I feel that awful, tyrannical sense of the threat of failure even in a small thing like grilling some meat.
Though this example may be rather trivial, there is a large truth at work here. That desperate need to justify ourselves is present in us every moment of every day. In fact it is deadly, for it brings fear of failure, the threat of inadequacy into play in so many ways. In our efforts to avoid the failure or prove our sufficiency we go to great extremes, we rationalize, we warp our priorities and our relationships. What gets lost in the process is peace, joy, and love for other people. This is why the Gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is so enormously freeing. Our adequacy, our justification comes from God and nothing else. This one principle applies to all those situations where our inadequacy is exposed. Yes, it is the Gospel for grilling, along with everything else. It is a good thing to see and to admit our inadequacies. When we admit them we can be freed of the tyranny of the fear they introduce into our lives by choosing into trust in the sufficiency of the grace of God in all things.