That’s grace, isn’t it? The version that we all know from the time we’re old enough to hear the lessons in church. We toss the word around in our day to day lives until it loses all meaning and depth. We say grace. We encourage one another to give ourselves grace. We show grace to our friend when her hard day causes our hearts to hurt. Grace in the midst of the day-to-day has become something soft for me. A gentle way of living. Choosing kindness rather than lashing out in anger.
Is it soft? This grace that comes from God?
It is by grace we are saved. (Eph 2:8)
Grace that took the narrow road so that we might receive favor in exchange for death. Grace that freely gives us the gift to stop working so hard, striving so often, doing so much. A gift, not wrapped up in a cute package with a nice bow but victory in the battle.
This gift is active. It’s present tense. It’s moving me constantly away from my life under the law to a life lived under grace where I let the old dead me behind and somehow at the same time watch as God turns beauty from ashes and puts flesh on dry bones. It’s a daily choice and struggle to say yes to this gift that my heart accepts but my head wants to earn.
And in those moments where God asks me to show this favor to someone else, when it’s hard? When it’s truly unmerited? When my daughter is demanding, clingy, or whiny and I would rather hide under a pillow than pick her “uppy” one more time? When it should be my turn to do “that” and it’s not? When my patience runs low and I want answers and resolution? That is grace, a gift given freely to be given freely. Not easy. Not cute and rehearsed and soft. Unmerited favor. From hearts striving to be just a little bit more like Jesus.
I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday today. If you’re visiting from her site – welcome! If you’re a “regular,” I’d love for you to pop over to Lisa-Jo’s page and visit some of my friends. They write good, brave words over there in 5(ish) minutes each week 😉
That should be the goal of every believer: to be more and more like Jesus every day. And yet it’s an impossible goal because there is none like Him. But for when we fail, there is Grace. Great post!
Not only is it a daily decision to show grace for me it has been a minute by minute over the last few months. But I am learning to show that grace to others as it has been shown to me.
Tresta Payne says
Easy to receive and hard to give sometimes. Amen! Thankful for grace.
Hi Crystal! I think you really show how easy it is to imagine grace, and how hard it is to let it overcome me. It’s all a choice, and sometimes all I want is to be shown and gifted, not be the giver. Totally get that!
Have a great weekend!
Becky Daye says
It’s a daily choice and struggle to say yes to this gift that my heart accepts but my head wants to earn. – I so appreciated this line, Crystal! Thank you!
Kimberly A Edwards says
Beauty! The beauty of grace. To the naked eye we think we need to earn it. I’m so happy it’s a free gift. There’s no way I could do this on my own. It would be a complete, utter failure. Thank You Jesus for the free gift of salvation with God’s unmerited grace. Great post, Crystal!
Dawn Paoletta says
Crystal, how do you ever get so much in 5 Minutes? It amazes me. I think just am desperate for grace: the giving and the receiving…but I believe as we learn to receive it, we grow in the power to freely give it. Growing in grace, I am learning is a painful process… and this prompt? Perfect for today- thanks for your words. 😉
Laura p says
It is so hard to give the gift or grace and yet when we need it (like I do this week) we are willing to beg for it. The harder it is to give- maybe that means the more it needs to be given.
Amy Tilson says
Like you said, it’s soft until we have to give it out to someone we really don’t want to it becomes hard. Not like I’ve had any experience with this over the past few months. 😉
“This gift is active” Yes it is! Thank goodness.
After reading a few Five Minute Friday blogs, I am reminded we all struggle with the extending grace part…we love to accept it–that’s easy…but wow, offering it to others: that’s tough!
Thanks for your post!
It can be so hard to extend grace can’t it?? And our kids are so good at it…at lease I give my kids plenty of opportunities to practice :/ …lessons to be learned from them!! I am so grateful that we have the gift of grace though! Well said!
Laura @ Pruning Princesses says
“It’s a daily choice and struggle to say yes to this gift that my heart accepts but my head wants to earn”-YES. Perfect. And choosing kindness rather than anger or frustration? We are all trying to learn that here.