Grace to Give

Grace is abstract.  You  can’t put your finger on it.  We all want grace extended to us; but, if we are honest, most of us struggle with extending it to others.  And when we do extend it, we oftentimes do so with conditions.  C.o.n.d.i.t.i.o.n.s…….

To be clear, Google defines “grace” as “the free and unmerited FAVOR of God”. I’ve heard it taught that “grace” is “a gift given that was neither earned nor deserved”.

So why do we think that grace is “ours” to give?  Why would I ever believe that the grace that I offer originates with me?  How would I EVER have the grounds to say to anyone, “You have slapped my grace in the face.”? Unfortunately, I HAVE made that condemning statement……  In fact, I have made that terrible, ridiculous, hurtful, UNGRATEFUL statement on multiple occasions over the same set of circumstances.  …and, if I haven’t said it out of my mouth, I have pondered it in my heart…  From the overflow of the heart the mouth speak, huh?  Yep…it sure does…

But, God, in His wonderful way of tenderly chipping away at the rock-solid walls that I erect to “protect” my heart, whispered to me, “You cannot give that which did not originate with you.  Grace begins with ME; it is not inherent in humanity ~ vengeance is.  Grace comes from Me and is, most often, given TO My people THROUGH My people.  You need only be My vessel.  Don’t hoard for yourself what was so freely given to you.”

That brings me to another word:  GIVEN.

God has been softly speaking to me the phrase “Given-Living” and asking me a very hard question:  “Can you live a life ‘given’ to show {him} how very much love {him}?” He also reminds me that He’s not asking me to 1) give anything that “originated” with me {because nothing of value REALLY originates with me} or 2) “give my life” so much to {him} as to Him…  Give my life to GOD to be used to lavish God’s Love on someone upon whom God has set His heart?

So I sit here, in my human nature and wonder, “Can I do it?”  Can I give up my “rights” to pour God’s love out on another flawed human being simply because God has asked me to do so?  …Jesus did…  But I am certainly NO Mother Theresa.  The thought of giving up myself in a selfless, God-originated way hurts me ~ it hurts my flesh.  My flesh wants to be JUSTIFIED and any way I could possibly act right now, would be justified in the world’s eyes.  But I must ask myself:  Do I want to be “worldly” or do I want to be “godly”?  I want to be godly.

“To be godly”…what does that mean?

“For God so loved that He GAVE.”  HE GAVE! 

To be like Him is to GIVE.  Given-Living.  Love Gives.  Love CHOOSES to Give.

Google defines “give” as “freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to” and “cause or allow (someone) to have (something, especially something abstract)”.  Grace is abstract.  It isn’t tangible.  It exists in thought or as an idea.  Grace does not have a physical or concrete existence.  Or does it?  Might the physical and concrete existence be …me…?  Us?  Not in origination with us, no; because we cannot give, in the natural, what is not ours to give.  But step with me into the supernatural for a minute.  If “God so loved that He gave” can I surrender myself enough to give?

To give what began with God: GRACE.  That word that I love to hear when it is being given to me; but inwardly cringe when God is asking me to extend it.

Obviously, I have not arrived in this area…  (A good friend of mine is helping me remember what I already knew:  We never DO “arrive”; we just keep on stretching forward into the future that God has already ordained for us.)  Right now, God is just beginning to awaken this precept in me.  But if He gave, He expects us to give; He expects ME to give.  That’s just the way He works.  He doesn’t desire that we should hoard His love and the gifts that He gives for ourselves only.  And grace IS a gift from God, given TO US from Him and given THROUGH US from Him.  It doesn’t start with us.

SO when I feel “offended” (that’s a whole ‘notha blog post) that “my” grace has been “slapped in the face”,  I’ll remind myself that grace is not, and never has been, MINE to give. Grace is God’s and it is HIS to give to whomever He chooses and I would do well to remember that.

I’ll leave you with this thought:  Grace is abstract; but it is also sufficient.  If God has called you to do the unthinkable, to give GRACE to someone that you would rather …not…, understand that He WILL give YOU the Grace, specific to you, that is needed to extend His Grace to that someone.  As for me, I will try to walk THIS day out in the Grace that He has designed for my SPECIFIC use for TODAY; the grace that He has given me to use to lavish His love on whom He chooses, TODAY.  His fresh Grace will be waiting for me, along with His mercies, when I wake up tomorrow morning.  I have to trust that and walk forward in Grace and with Grace.

 

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