Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and a beautiful crowd of other writers. This week’s topic — on which we may write for only five minutes, minimal editing permitted — is grace.
I hate it. There. I said it. Yes, I know that my entire faith, in fact my entire life and writing career are based on the element and truth of grace. Without it I have no Gospel to share. Without it I have no hope of full restoration with God. Without it … Well, I don’t even want to think about life without it.
But I really, really, really don’t like it. I don’t like that I need it.
Admitting the necessity of grace forces me to also admit my extensive failures. The million and twenty-two ways I fall short every single day. Who wants to be reminded of that? Not me. I want to be independent. I want to be strong. I want to know that whatever comes my way, I can face it with dignity and wisdom and that I never have to apologize for —
I don’t actually mind apologizing. I’m cool with admitting my mistakes when I have an excuse or an explanation. It’s when there’s no excuse that I struggle. That, of course, is also when I need grace most.
Accepting grace is far more difficult than extending grace.
I love giving grace … most of the time. I must admit, though, that I’m struggling today. I’m struggling because there are some to whom I don’t want to extend that unmerited favor.
The angry voice in the back of my head shouts.
“They don’t deserve it!”
“But they’ve done this again and again. There’s no repentance.”
“You’re making yourself vulnerable. You’re going to be hurt again.”
God extended grace to me at a tremendous cost. And it changed my life. Literally, changed my situation from death to resurrection and LIFE.
It is not easy for me to accept grace, but I know I need it. Just as I know I need it, I know I must also share it. What will it cost me, really? My pride. Maybe a little time. That’s hardly a reason to refuse. And what difference might grace make in the life next to me? What change might happen when unmerited favor … forgiveness … grace touches the lives of those who don’t deserve it?