Five Lessons on Grace

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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I cannot please her. She tells me I have gone about it in the wrong way. That I need to do it this way. A few months later after doing what she told me to do she tells me I have done it all wrong. In trying to do what she trying to do what she said would please her, I only made it worse. There was no winning. I know in a few months after changing what I do she again will come back to say, "You did it all wrong."

Sometimes the only way to win is to give grace. 

Give the grace that was not given to you. Give the grace you don't have to give. Give the grace they don't deserve. Give the grace you so desperately want for yourself.

While never easy it's doable because God gives us the ability to give the grace we don't possess. Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way in trying to give grace...

Grace comes with a price. To give it to her I had to back down and not defend myself. Look injustice in the face and accept it to a certain degree. Was she wrong in expressing her opinion? No. Was she being hard to please? Absolutely. Was she being unfair? Yes. But all of that doesn't matter when it comes to grace. Grace means that I must lay down my desire to be my own lawyer and advocate. I must lay down my pride because it only hinders the giving of grace.

Grace is undeserved. If she doesn't deserve it then it is precisely the time to give grace. Giving grace to those whose actions merit it isn't grace. Giving grace to those that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling is simple. Giving grace to a gorilla is another thing entirely. There is nothing warm and fuzzy about "an enemy" staring you down in the face. 

We desire to have grace and not give it away. We so want grace when we fail and mess up. We want others to accept us regardless of our behavior. We want to be excused. We want to be set free from the trap of our sin. Yet, when it comes to doing the same for others we balk. We don't want to give what we so desperately desire for ourselves.

Grace can break hearts of stone. Think about the last person who gave you grace. How do you feel about him or her? There is relief. A feeling of love for this person washes over you. We can't help but melt. When we give grace we become big in the offender's eyes and melt her heart. Even hardened criminals like Jean Valjean in Les Miserables who gives up his life of crime for near sainthood melt under the giving of grace. Grace can change a life and a heart.

There comes a time for grace AND truth. Will there come a time to confront? Yes. Jesus, Himself, was full of grace and truth. There is a time to mix truth in with the grace. We do people no favors when we aren't honest with them about their behavior and how it affects those around them. Sometimes grace is the giving of truth. Sometimes the way to help a person is honesty. Grace without truth is a limp noodle. Truth without grace is a razor blade. We need both communicated to us in our lives.

So how can you give grace today? It is not easy, but it is the only way to win.

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