I remember this scene in a movie from the late ’90’s…
Joanna (Jennifer Aniston) is a waitress at Chotchkie’s. A customer named Peter asks her to explain what “flair” is.
Joanna answers, “That’s where, you know, suspenders and buttons and all sorts of stuff. We’re, uh, we’re actually required to wear fifteen pieces of flair. It’s quite stupid actually.”
Peter replies, “Do you get to pick them out yourself?”
“Yeah. Yeah,” says Joanna. “Although I didn’t actually choose these. I, uh, I just grabbed fifteen buttons and, uh, I don’t even know what they say.”
Religion is like Chotchkie’s. It requires you to wear fifteen pieces of flair. It is deeply concerned about decorations and external things.
Grace is different. Grace changes things.
The Bible warns us not to get caught up in a Chotchkie’s fifteen pieces of flair kind of religion.
Paul warns the church against “religious barking dogs,” saying, “All they’re interested in is appearances.” (Philippians 3.2 MSG).
Grace is interested in more than appearances. Grace works from the inside out. It transforms.
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! All of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5.17, 18 NLT)
If you belong to Jesus, you have become a new person. This is a gift from God – totally undeserved, yet completely generous and given freely.
That’s not fifteen pieces of flair.