There's really nothing fair about grace. In fact, before "all of this" I didn't really understand what grace actually was. Give him grace! Did that mean let it slide this time? Not that I spent a lot of time thinking about the word. You always hear about God's grace --Amazing Grace! What is that anyway? Grace doesn't make sense from a human perspective. We want it to be about people deserving it. But it's not. Not one of us deserves grace. Grace is a gift -- like forgiveness. You don't give it because someone has earned it or deserves it.
I looked GRACE up in the dictionary and it said, "GRACE is unmerited favor, mercy, compassion. MERCY is compassion or forebearance shown to an offender. FOREBEARANCE is restraint, patience." Basically, grace means you see the flaws and don't hold it against them. You have compassion on someone because you know how flawed you are. In some cases, I believe you can give someone grace without really deciding to do it. Isn't that what LOVE is all about? Love is not an emotion, it's an action. Grace is giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Grace is a God thing. I think we can give grace because God gives it to us. You can't be in a healthy, long lasting relationship without grace. Your spouse is going to mess up. Your friend is going to let you down. Your family is not perfect. You're either going to end every relationship because someone failed you or you are going to give people grace, knowing that they are imperfect humans (just like you).
I love this quote from John Piper, "Be a tree, not a cut flower." He's talking about endurance, perseverance, sticking it out. He's talking about love. Stay put. Let your roots grow, dig down into the ground, getting stronger with time. Be the shade for those around you. A cut flower lasts only a short time before it whithers and dies. A tree lasts. It doesn't pull it's roots up and leave. What a beautiful word picture! That's what I want to be. A strong tree, planted by God in just the right place. And leaving is not my choice. So no matter what anyone does to me, I'll stay there knowing that God planted me there and when He wants me to move, He will move me or take me home.
O to grace,
how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be.
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter (a chain), bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart,
O take and seal it,
seal it for Thy courts above!
"COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING" (hymn v.3)
So glad you took the time to write this. I really needed to hear it. I need to remember to ask God for grace every day. Thanks for reminding me that it's a God thing. Great post!!!
It's 5 years today (9/10/09) since the yuck hit the fan. Without grace where would any of us be? I wouldn't be where I am today, that's for sure. And it's God's grace that holds on to me and will not let me go. By grace I'm being drawn back to Him (daily). And I'm so thankful that people offer me grace because sometimes I mess up big time!
Thank you for blessing me with the grace that God gave you. Thank you for sticking out through the rough stuff. 5 years today. Grace like rain. you have soaked me through and through.
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