There has been a lot of talk in Christian circles about grace over the past decade or two. The word grace has been dissected, analyzed, and picked apart until I wonder if the real meaning has been lost in translation. So, for the purposes of this post, I am going to stick to the basics.
Grace is pretty simple. In the Christian context (definition #2 above), God extends favour/kindness/forgiveness/ love to us and we don’t even deserve it. Not at all. We come to Him with all of our junk and baggage – our sins and problems and misdeeds – while He just nods knowingly and forgives it all. And then forgets it, like it never happened. That’s Grace 101.
We get to bask in the glory of the Father’s love and acceptance – His grace – assured that we belong to Him. We are His sons and daughters, after all.
Hold on a minute.
We need to take a look at definition #1 above. Uh, what? You mean there’s something we should be doing with this grace thing?
God’s amazing grace isn’t ours to keep bottled up and locked away, greedy little people that we sometimes are. His grace is supposed to be extended by us to others – showing them love and kindness, serving them NO MATTER WHAT. That means forgiving the person who wronged us, serving the person who stole from us, loving the person who insulted us. We don’t get to pick and choose to whom we show grace.
He saved you, didn’t He?
Then we come to definition #3 above, which may seem like the odd one out. But think about it for a minute. This describes a few attributes, I think, of a person showing grace to others – a person who has first received grace from God.
Perhaps it’s time we start to practice what we preach. Maybe keep our mouths shut about how much we understand God’s grace until we can be no respecter of persons when it comes to extending it.
And maybe have a long conversation with the Father about it. He’s got some pretty awesome stuff to teach you.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)