God has wired us to find comfort, security, and identity in the familiar, the routine, our customs and traditions. Losing them or changing them can throw us off balance and that’s uncomfortable.
The word grace is a short, simple word. But understanding the biblical depth and meaning of grace can take a lifetime of study and application. It's almost a shame that a word describing suppleness of movement or a short, quick prayer before a meal is the same word we use to describe God's unfathomable love for sinners. Nevertheless, it is grace that moves Him to offer us the free gift of salvation and forgiveness.
Grace is what compelled the Apostle Paul to write of a mystery never understood before (1 Corinthians 2:7-13). Grace is also what allows us to relax into another's accepting embrace as he or she gives us the freedom to discover our unique journey laid out by God. So relax as we journey together down the path toward freedom and the wonderment of the surpassing riches of God's grace!
Every Christian must leap over two hurdles on the path of spiritual growth. First, Christians must take God at His Word that they are fully forgiven of their sins. Second, Christians must unburden themselves from the scruples of legalistic Christians.
We have to always work at remembering and forgetting. We need to work and remember what we believe, and what God has done for us. And we need to work at forgetting harmful things from our past.
The reality is that it is not an either/or issue of trusting God to act or us acting alone. It is a both/and issue of trusting fully and acting wisely according to God’s revealed will in Scripture.
I find it easy to have incredible grace for others when I understand their motives behind questionable actions. When I think I understand the whole story I can excuse poor behaviour, forgive debts, and look the other way.
Bad memories usually revolve around two kinds of experiences: those involving a traumatic or painful incident, and those involving people who have hurt us in some way. Is there a way to forget painful memories?
Instead of enjoying God’s ocean of grace, many Christians are still trapped—not by sin but legalism. Legalism with its layers of restrictions cuts them off from freedom and smothers them with shame.
Can you minister grace to people who don’t inspire you to acts of kindness? Let me suggest a good beginning. Stoop down and embrace them. Love that reaches up is adoration. Love that reaches out is compassion. But love that stoops is grace.
We want to be right (as we see it, of course) more than we want to love our neighbours as ourselves. At that point our personal preferences eclipse any evidence of love. I am of the firm conviction that where grace exists, so must various areas of grey.