I love to give charity, but I don’t want to be charity. This is why I have so much trouble with grace.
A few years ago I was listing prayer requests to a friend. As I listed my requests, I mentioned many of my friends and family but never spoke about my personal problems. My friend candidly asked me to reveal my own struggles, but I told him no, that my problems weren’t that bad. My friend answered quickly, in the voice of a confident teacher, “Don, you are not above the charity of God.” In that instant he revealed my motives were not noble, they were prideful. It wasn’t that I cared about my friends more than myself, it was that I believed I was above the grace of God.
…It isn’t that I want to earn my own way to to give something to God, it’s that I want to earn my own way so I won’t be charity.
Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz