Grace: God’s only loopholeIn 1946, the comedian W.C. Fields lay dying in a California hospital from cirrhosis of the liver. Although he had never been a man of faith, he spent considerable time in his hospital bed leafing through the Bible.
By: Pastor Mark Holmes, Superior Telegram
In 1946, the comedian W.C. Fields lay dying in a California hospital from cirrhosis of the liver. Although he had never been a man of faith, he spent considerable time in his hospital bed leafing through the Bible. When asked why the sudden interest in the Scriptures he responded: “I’m looking for loopholes.”
Loopholes are variances that allow for non-compliance in a given situation. They are a means by which we hope to become an exception rather than the rule.
Most of us like to think that we are exceptional; a cut above the ordinary. However, this thinking can get us into trouble by convincing us the repercussions from our actions will not take place. Despite the fact that many smokers contract cancer, we won’t. Drugs will never addict us. Sexually transmitted diseases happen to other people and the IRS will never audit our returns. We will never get sick, caught or held responsible for our actions. Yet hospitals, cemeteries and prisons prove this thinking wrong every day. Exceptions are not as common as we would like them to be.
Like with W.C. Fields, this errant attitude can prevail in our relationship with God. “God’s ‘thou shalts and shalt nots’ don’t apply to me. He won’t judge me.” But as we face the inevitable need to answer for our actions, we start looking for a way out.
The humbling truth is there are no exceptions with God. His only loophole is grace, yet even that is common and extended to all.
Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.