Grace begins with us. This may sound odd to you, but as you read along, I hope you begin to reflect what grace means to you. Often, we find ourselves struggling with accepting God’s grace. We constantly remind ourselves of the wrongs we have done, situations we could have handled better or even worse, filled with regret. The could haves, should haves and would haves overwhelm us, while grace has been granted before our sin was even committed.
There is a common saying that states: “You can’t give what you don’t have”. A lot of us haven’t fully grasped the ideology behind this phrase. A lot of us are on a path and we learn as we go, but we do not master our acquired skill set, the same goes for grace. Let me break this down for you a bit more.
Grace is a character trait of God as it is linked to unmerited favor, benevolence, love and mercy. In other words, Grace is the umbrella that conceals everything we need in order to be complete in Christ, as well as being successful in our grace walk. Grace was activated, when Christ died on the cross of calvary for us, so why do we struggle with it so much? It is a lack of understanding, as a lot of us do not understand the concept of mercy, grace and/or unmerited favor. Which one would you prefer?
Right from childhood, I always had this sense of perfection. Everything had to be laid out in a certain way, colors had to be aligned cohesively and the moment something did not happen the way I had envisioned, it would throw me off balance. One would say, I am the poster child of “Perfectionism”. I never considered this to be an issue, until adulthood and real-life situations hit me. One of the greatest weaknesses perfectionists have is that they are very hard on themselves (I am sure someone must be nodding by now) and those that are connected to them. They put themselves and their loved ones on a pedestal and the moment they fall short of their expectations, judgment is placed. My own weakness became my biggest struggle. Perfectionism that turned into a stronghold.
I struggled with grace for a long time, as I felt I was not worthy of it and I needed to try so much harder to explain and reassure God that, indeed I am worthy. But it was the lack of knowledge that prolonged my journey of entering my grace walk. I did not have to earn it; he had given it to me freely. It is my personal gift. The moment, I was able to accept God’s grace, I understood to also grant it to others. Those that are close to me, always hear me say “Extend the grace God gives you to others, as you are on your 500th 2nd chance”. I say this to constantly remind myself to be a grace giver, to master this skill set, because being a recipient of a gift comes with only one condition - not to abuse it. If grace is part of God and he calls me His heir, I need to ensure that I act just as my Father in Heaven does.
I need you to understand that grace and mercy are not the same. I would go as far as stating that grace is the mother, mercy is the child. Mercy is conditional, it is situational. But grace is everlasting. It is the gift of heaven. It is your salvation. The gift is now yours to keep and for you to master it. Therefore, uphold people to the standard of grace and not a pedestal, expectations or perfectionism. The moment you live in grace, you see life through the eyes of the Father.
Have a blessed week!