It has always seemed like such an ambiguous term. I understand we are supposed to give it and we certainly are all recipients of grace, but as a young adult I still didn’t understand what grace “felt” like.
Grace – the free and unmerited favor of God.
Or as some have explained:Grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
It took me years to understand WHY I needed grace. Once I understood the why, it didn’t take long for me to understand the gift it is.
When I hit my mid-20’s I began to realize that no matter how hard I tried, I honestly wasn’t the best person deep down. I tried to always be nice, but when life started actually happening and circumstances became harder, that’s when the ugly surfaced. It began to take a lot of effort to be the kind, thoughtful human I once believed myself to be…and suddenly I realized I was in desperate need of grace…
Thankfully I learned as a little one that there is Someone who freely gives this precious commodity. The more I needed, the more He gives, but I also realized that I’m a stingy giver. The other people in my life apparently need grace too.
When my spouse is snippy in the morning, grace is needed.
When the waitress at my favorite restaurant can’t seem to get my order right, she needs some grace.
When my coworker forgets to finish his part of our project the night before our presentation, he needs a whole lot of grace.
When my kiddo breaks my iPad, grace needed!
When my volunteers decide to go on vacation the weekend of a big event, I suppose they need some grace.
Who knew grace was in such high demand?
My dilemma is that I don’t like doling out grace, but I’m certainly a frequent receiver. There is a definite imbalance and double standard in my life. I want full access to God’s grace, but I’m most certainly not generous in extending it to those closest to me.
I have learned to greatly value the quote by John Watson, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Isn’t this so very true, yet hard to remember?
My impatience kicks in when I am inconvenienced or even possibly wronged! I want things set straight and for people to realize I have been mistreated. Yet, when I have made a mistake or wronged someone I quickly seek and expect forgiveness.
How different would our workplaces, churches, supermarkets and homes be if we decided to be generous with extending grace? We could be Grace Givers. However, there is a time and a place for grace to be given and received.
I’m not talking about excusing poor behavior or calling sin by another name. Grace doesn’t excuse sin and wrongdoing, but it does forgive and give the gift of second chances. Have you ever needed a do-over? I have, probably at least 3 times before noon today!
Once when I slept through my alarm so I made everyone else in my household rush to make up for my late start.
Once when I sent my son to school disappointed because I forgot to sign his weekly papers, because in my rush I didn’t take the time, even though he reminded me the night before.
And then only an hour later when I bumped my desk in a bit of clumsiness and knocked my coffee over, spilling it onto some important papers.
Grace needed, not only from my Creator and Father, but from the people I do life with each day.
So as we go through our day and serve those around us and take the responsibility of leading and influencing, perhaps we should take a new look at grace… As we certainly need its impact eternally, we have tremendous need for it daily, hourly and so do those within our circle. It is a day changer when the people we interact with are generous with grace.
What would change in our relationships if we became known simply as Grace Givers?