Are you learning to give and receive grace like I am?
My daughter was drawing something and then she stopped. Curious, I went to look for her paper so I could see what she drew. I found it in the trashcan, instead, with a word scribbled over some sketches and erasures: FAILURE!
I felt like I was punched.
“I am not good at this! What’s the use of trying? It’s a fail!”
I wish to never hear these sentences from my children. I don’t want them disheartened.
Sentences that I sometimes tell myself. At times, I feel disheartened.
“Nobody’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.”
That’s what people say. That’s what I tell her. That’s what I tell myself.
But I cannot help but feel that there are those who seemingly wait for me to mess up. Those who are ready to say, “I told you so” when I do. And I hope I am not like that with my children.
I hope to give them grace.
Grace that says, “I believe in you. You might make mistakes, but it’s all right. The important thing is that you learn from the experience, from the consequences. I might get disappointed at your choices, but, I will not get explosively mad, I hope. And I hope you will think about your decisions and pray through them each time. Ask God for wisdom.”
James 1:5 (NIV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
What is grace?
According to www.gotquestions.org, “Grace is simply defined as unmerited favor. It is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. It is extending kindness to the unworthy.”
For me, though, grace is also that leeway, that ‘margin of error’, that ‘benefit of the doubt’.
That’s why, I believe that God is a God of second, third and even tenth chances. He will cause something good and beautiful to come out of my brokenness.
Romans 5:20-21 (NIV)
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I hope to receive grace.
If I were made to feel that I can never do right in a person’s eye, then, why would I hope to even try?
I know I am flawed. I know I make a lot of mistakes. I know I have a lot of regrets. But, would those cancel out the positive efforts? Will these errors define me?
I am so glad that God, through Jesus, understands my shortcomings and is compassionate towards me!
Acts 11:23 (NIV)
When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Giving grace means forgiving, giving second chances. That’s why, according to the book Motivate Your Child by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, “the key to building internal motivation with a loss of privileges is to have children earn back the privilege” because it gives them hope and inspires them to change.
Receiving grace means receiving forgiveness. Accept that I make mistakes. Admit the errors of my ways. Strive not to do them again. Grace is not being too hard on myself that I live the rest of my life blotched by the past and regrets. By grace, I am made to feel that I can do something good, especially if it’s for Jesus Christ. All wisdom, hope and love is from Him. Especially love.
At the heart of grace is love.