What we experience and how we think in our everyday lives affects how we develop and understand our theology. For instance the way our justice system works greatly shapes and molds how we understand God's Justice. Someone who had a abusive father growing, or an absent father, will understand "Our Father in Heaven" a little differently than those of us who grew up with a loving father.
We have heard saying such as, "there's no such thing as a free meal", or, "nothing is really free." and in most cases this may be true and maybe be an accurate way of describing life.
But this is also how it seems we approach grace. It can't really be free, can it?
The greek word for grace is "charis"' which literally means, "unmerited favor." in other words, there is NOTHING one can do to earn grace, and there is NOTHING one can do to get it taken away. It's there.
But for some reason we don't like that idea. We may say we like it, but we don't act like we like it. And we definitely don't like this idea when it comes to others.
We are always trying to work for our grace, which caused us to think others should have to work for it too. I think Paul writes about this (among many other places) in Romans. He is writing to the church in Rome proclaiming the good news of the FREE gift of God. He urges his readers to trust that the gift is actually free, and that there is nothing for them to do in order to get it. Paul describes this idea as being "liberating" in other text because for Paul, that was part of salvation, being liberated from the law. But the Jews just couldn't grasp this radical idea... They couldn't let go of the need to have a part in their own righteousness.