“A Cycle of Pseudograce . . . is increasingly common in our post-Christian culture. It substitutes tolerance or self-acceptance for God’s grace, and its goal is so-called freedom — especially from standards of what is right and good — rather than the fruit of the Spirit.”- Kristi Gaultiere
In Chapter 2 (“Grace for Your Journey”) of Journey of the Soul, Kristi Gaultiere tells about three cycles. The Cycle of Works, the Cycle of Grace, and the Cycle of Pseudograce.
The Cycle of Works runs counterclockwise through: (1) Expectations, (2) Achievement, (3) Ego, and (4) Empty. In this cycle, spiritually speaking, we live by shoulds. Furthermore, we try to retain control and avoid vulnerability. But this posture of self-reliant pride and earning only leaves us tired and empty. As a result, we may feel resentment toward God, even distant from Him.
In contrast, the Cycle of Grace serves as God’s alternative. Rather than sap our strength, this cycle fuels our emotional and spiritual growth in the CHRIST stages of faith. Thus, the cycle runs clockwise through: (1) Acceptance, (2) Energy, (3) Self-Esteem, and (4) Fruit. Above all, our motivation comes from the Lord. And when we do effective work, our life bears the fruit of the Spirit. That fruit, in turn, blesses other people and honors God.
Finally, Kristi observes, the Cycle of Pseudograce simply represents another version of the Cycle of Works. Because this cycle is self-generated and therefore leaves us languishing in our journey with Jesus. Hence, Kristi adds, this cycle leaves us largely empty of divine love, joy, peace, and power.
When in Paris, Bill and Kristi viewed Monet’s Wild Lily paintings at the Musee de l’Orangerie. Huge panoramic murals of Monet’s garden encircled them. For two hours they sat and prayed inside Monet’s garden.
Most significantly, Kristi notes, grace is like that. It’s more than a theological concept of unmerited favor. As a result, we miss out when we think of grace only in terms of forgiveness or a transaction that took place at the cross. For grace includes the joy of a friendly and empowering relationship with Jesus.
Today’s question: Do you ever find yourself mired in the Cycle of Pseudograce? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Spiritual peaks and pits – lots of them”