“[Grace] is a kind of shorthand for the whole sum of the unmerited blessings which come to men through Jesus Christ. . .it means. . .the unconditioned, undeserved, spontaneous, eternal, stooping, pardoning love of God.“Alexander MacLaren’s Commentary (Expositions of Holy Scripture)
As Christians we have the unique opportunity to learn to give others grace because of the grace that was given to us first. Giving something they don’t deserve because it is love is the example Christ has set for us.
Giving grace is hard because it goes against our natural, selfish hearts. But it is so beautiful to show Jesus to others by giving loving, unconditional, patient, undeserved, GRACE. . .It is FREE.
Grace looks like —
Reacting graciously to our children even if it’s the 5th time committing the same offense. Not allowing our children to feel that our love is conditional no matter how much we want to pull our hair out.
Giving our spouse the benefit of the doubt when they don’t do what we expect in our relationship. (He’ll never say what the perfectly toned guy in that movie or book says..after all, someone had a long time to think up that script and make sure that character said just the right romantic thing.)
Choosing to not say what we’re thinking even though that argument or comeback we’ve been creating in our head really wants to come out.
It’s understanding that us with our children is a picture of us & God…our love towards them cannot change based on their performance. If God’s did, where would we be?
It is not beating ourselves up with mom guilt when we mess up…again. Remembering we are not failures and we need to rely heavily on God’s gracious understanding that is extended towards us during the day. He understands our struggles, our emotional burdens, our anger, our love…everything.
It is not assuming ill-will when our husband doesn’t put his laundry in the hamper. . .or away. . .or basically anything to do with laundry. Let’s admit he’s probably not thinking, “oh I’m gonna leave my clothes here instead of putting them in the hamper because that will make her mad”. . .maybe he just isn’t thinking at all because his mind is tired after work. . .?
It is giving that stranger the benefit of the doubt when they drive offensively, are rude, or act selfishly. Giving them grace with thoughts that align with Philippians 4:8. Thoughts that are true (not assuming).
GRACE IS: Love in Action. Forgiveness. Humility. Patience. Hope. Gentleness.
Grace doesn’t look like —
Giving us an allowance to sin because we know God will always graciously forgive. (Romans 5:20 – 6:4)
Holding back forgiveness or counting wrongs so that we can hold them against someone else.
An excuse to not be in God’s Word daily because “I’m busy and need to give myself a little grace”…no, no. We need the Bible.
Causing us to think we are better than others because we give out grace. Real ‘heart’ grace causes us to show loving grace in our hearts even if no one knows. Fake ‘head’ grace is showing grace for outward appearances while we are thinking evil towards someone inside.
Allowing sin to have a place in our spouse’s life because we would rather not have that hard conversation. Not talking about something isn’t giving grace. We need life-giving, hard, heart-bearing words.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV