I struggle with giving unconditional grace. It probably started because my dad always had expectations before he doled out too much love. He had a pretty tough childhood where not a lot of grace was given, etcetera, etcetera, and so it goes. So even though I believe very strongly intellectually that Christ died for me and offers this unconditional grace, the trip between my head and my heart (where my actions live), is sometimes a very long distance. I have to work very intentionally to give unconditional grace because it’s difficult for me to accept that Christ could love me that much. I think I should earn it.
You might remember that our book club – Ladies of the Club – is reading Les Parrot’s book called Love Like That, which walks us through five things we can practice to help us love like Jesus. The chapter we’re on is called Grace-ful, and as you would expect, it’s about giving unconditional grace like Jesus. The author contends that our inability to give grace is associated with judgementalism. Probably true. He says that we, as humans, value what is fair, and grace is not fair. I thought that was so interesting. Grace isn’t fair, but what a delightful injustice it is!
But it’s hard to give grace when we think we have to earn it. He says if we’re working hard to earn God’s favor, we think everyone else should too. His exercise for combating the withholding of grace is unexpected.
Mr. Parrot suggests conjuring curiosity. He contends that curiosity squashes judge-y thoughts and makes a space for grace. You see, when we don’t know enough about a person or a situation, we’re typically all too happy to fill in the gaps with our own critical thoughts. He suggests asking yourself this: I wonder what’s going on with that person that I don’t know about? Simple, but genius. You know, I’ve thought about doing this before, but it’s maddening when I go into defense mode before asking it! It would save so much grief and be so much more pleasing to God if I would just remember this simple question.
Extending grace is a choice. It takes practice. What do you think? Easy or hard? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Leave a Reply