David Browder recently wrote a great post about the human way of doing things (all about rewards for virtue, punishments for vice; AKA the Law), and compared it to the inscrutable and offensive grace of God which seems, in human terms, perversely attracted to unbelievably messed up sinners. A lot of times we agree intellectually with the idea of God’s grace for sinners–until we hear about a particularly bad sinner. Then we begin to choke on grace because it’s not fair. This is especially true when we are on the hurtful receiving end of someone else’s sin.

Anyways, this all put me in mind of “God Will,” a great Lyle Lovett song from his first album way back in 1986. It gets at the radical difference between God’s forgiveness and the human tendency towards law-enforcing and grudge-bearing. It also points to the fact that for humans to forgive, it really takes a work of the Holy Spirit. That is, God needs to change you on the inside.

Here are the lyrics:

Who keeps on trusting you
When you’ve been cheating
And spending your nights on the town?
And who keeps on saying that he still wants you
When you’re through running around?
And who keeps on loving you
When you’ve been lying
Saying things ain’t what they seem?
God does
But I don’t
God will
But I won’t
And that’s the difference
Between God and me

So who says he’ll forgive you
And says that he’ll miss you
And dream of your sweet memory?
God does
But I don’t
God will
But I won’t
And that’s the difference
Between God and me