Grace, it means “favor,” from the Latin gratia. It connotes a free readiness. A free and ready favor. That’s grace. It is one thing to choose to take the grace offered at the cross. But to choose to live as one filling with His grace? Choosing to fill with all that He freely gives and fully live–with glory and grace and God?
I know it but I don’t want to: it is a choice.
~Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts
I say I’m extending grace to others. And I feel like I am…
…but I’m withholding grace from myself.
She didn’t set her alarm and totally missed the class we said we would go to together. I tell her it’s ok, we’ll find another time.
It’s three days before and realize I need a sub. I call eight people on the sub list and no one can do it. Emails, phone calls, and texts are flying. Ugh, why do I do this to myself? I should have asked for the schedule from my other commitment earlier. I should have called so and so first. I should have, I should have,…why don’t I have it all together?
It’s a pride thing. We like to think we don’t need someone else’s favor. Sometimes it seems like pity. We like to get it right the first time. And when someone else messes up, we say it’s okay because at least it wasn’t us. It makes us feel better, more important, like we have it all together.
Steve Brown writes, “The desire for perfection indicates the presence in us of something or someone who has given us that desire.” The desire to please drives our motivation. And when that motivation comes from something or someone outside of God, we’re always going to fall short.
We forget that He has already perfected us. Our focus zeros in on the small story and we miss the BIGGER one–the story of radical grace. We have a choice: zoom out and accept the grace extended to us or keep striving towards the temporary acceptance of human beings.
We can only give as much as we have received. And if we refuse to fully receive, how can we fully give? I have to think that we will never be able to give grace to others until we find the freedom of true grace ourselves.
That means letting go of the smaller story. It’s the realization that in our pursuit of excellence, we will fall short, we will disappoint people, we will not always have answers. But in that realization there is rest, there is freedom, there is grace–because we know that our perfection does not lie in the outward facade of having it all together but in the One who holds it all together.
May you choose grace.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" ~2 Corinthians 12:9