Alec Guinness on God's Grace

Interview with Alec Guinness
Conducted by James Grissom
By Telephone

Mine was a very strict religious introduction: I felt very much that God's grace was mercurial, ready to bolt. My actions, my perpetual prayers and penitence, were all that could leave me attached to Him. As a result I only felt tested by God--put through many indignities, trials, puzzles. I wondered all the time how God could be so unloving, and I wondered why He felt obliged to batter me repeatedly with abuse. I assumed I was becoming a better person, but I was bitter about the rewards that seemed never to come. 

My own impoverished self-esteem never allowed me to see the rewards that were around me--I was too preoccupied and annoyed by the tests. God, of course, doesn't test us as much as the world and its inhabitants do, and it His grace that rescues us, gives us the right answer and the reminder to take the right action.

I was angry because I assigned to God the losses I kept withstanding, and I did not look at the rewards, the glorious life that was made available to me. The tests continued, as did God's grace.

I am not the man to whom you should be coming for such advice. I'm a poor boy who grasped at God to try and understand why I was here. He has helped me. But the ultimate test, so to speak, is that we listen to Him, follow the examples that were made in the quest to find him and understand Him.

The tests do not come from God, but the means of surviving them do.

©  2015  James Grissom


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