October 14, 2015

31 Days of Truths... Grace, for you (or 'them') - DAY FOURTEEN


Yesterday we talked about Grace for ourselves and that Truth can be hard enough, but today we will tackle the truth about Grace for others.

I know, right? It's hard!

I mean - we can act like it's not... and some times, it really isn't hard. Some times we can freely give and we know and see and feel and hear how His grace comes rushing in and we rejoice with the one being covered and drenched!

Yes - there are those times.
Praise God and Hallelujah.
For real.

But I am talking about those other times... 
the times when grace is free for everyone and some of that 'everyone' includes people you don't want to extend grace to.

Right?
There's that! 
Those are the others that I am talking about!

We know that Grace
is the unmerited favor of God.
It's just that some times we want you
to show us your merits, first.

Or is that just me? 

I knew this post was coming...

I knew when God gave me the topic for 31Days that He would make me not only write about this... but, you know, actually live it, too! He's bossy like that with me!

I have mentioned vaguely of the hard season that we are in the midst of and one of the reasons it is so hard is because God is so bossy about this Grace stuff.

He really means it, you guys! 
He loves everyone! 

No one should have to strive to earn it because no one ever can.  

And because we are His hands and His feet, we can't just ask W.W.J.D. - we have to actually then go out and do it!

As in:
Just. Do. It.
(Resisting urge to insert meme of Shia LeBeouf...)

Here's the deal:
We have, in our lives right now, someone whom Jesus loves. I mean -He is madly, and completely in love with this person and He has plans for them that go beyond what we can ask or think. I have no doubt about this. 

I'm not so convinced that they are meant to be in our lives to the capacity that they are, and I'm not convinced that God has ordained this, but for whatever reason - God has allowed it, and so here we are.  

I find myself praying things like, "Save, Oh Lord! Make them be the amazing person that you created and intended for them to be... But, you know, do it later! Not here and now, but in a bit, when they have moved along already."

We have a bit of history with this person and this relationship, and I feel all the feels that I am right about this whole thing (and I'm not wrong very often)  and yet, even this - Jesus knows.

It seems He doesn't care.
Or maybe just exactly the opposite. 

Maybe God cares so much and that is why this is all happening... that is why this person is, once again, intertwined in our lives.

They have within them good... they are super smart... so much potential.
And yet...   

This person is not who I had planned for... doesn't fit in nicely to the dream I have dreamt up or the plans I have sowed into. I'm not convinced that this is good... that this is God... I'm not convinced that this will last, but here's the other deal:

Here's the thing about giving Grace to 'them'... 
Really, even in the giving, you are the one who gets!  

You get a deeper understanding of Grace, of God, of how much He loves you... and them.  

You get a glimpse of the crazy, wild, beyond comprehension abandon with which He freely pours out His grace and mercy.

You lift your hands and tilt your head and you offer your heart, giving thanks for the grace that covers you.

So, how can you wholeheartedly believe that while you didn't deserve it or do anything to earn it, others need to?

Ouch, right? I know.
We're just keepin' it real here, y'all!

We have come to love Grace for us... but just not so much always for 'them'.  We want it to be free for us, but we often feel like 'they' should earn it.  

But that's not how Grace works...
that's not how any of this works!
"Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins."    Eccl 7:20 NASB
 "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace."   Romans 11:6 NASB 
 No... if we (or 'they') work for it, it's no longer grace. What Grace is supposed to offer is, as Eugene Peterson puts it, an 'unforced rhythm'!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”    Matt 11:28-30 The Message   
How can we lay heavy and ill-fitting things on others, forcing them to earn grace, when we ourselves have been set free from that same bondage?  

The answer is we can't. 
Not if we are going to live like Jesus. 
Oh, we may want to... but we can. not.

I stumbled upon this quote... this explanation of Grace, and I couldn't not include it here:
"Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…. Grace is one-way love. Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives. And from our vantage point, it always gives to the wrong person. We see this over and over again in the Gospels: Jesus is always giving to the wrong people—prostitutes, tax collectors, half-breeds. The most extravagant sinners of Jesus’s day receive His most compassionate welcome. Grace is a divine vulgarity that stands caution on its head.”   ―Preston Sprinkle, Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us
And here is the stretching truth... 



Grace is always free, always extended out, always inviting in, because what we've been freely given, we are called to freely give

...It's just that Sometimes We Forget!








 Today is Day Fourteen of 31 Days of Truths We Know...! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

P.S.  I'm linking up with these lovely writers:
JENNIFER DUKES LEE FOR #TELLHISSTORY


















HOLLEY GERTH FOR #COFFEEFORYOURHEART



22 comments :

  1. What a needed truth this is! Some individuals seem particularly hard to extend grace to, but that doesn't mean they need it any less. It's not about deserving, you've got that right. If we get fixated on what is 'deserved' we've missed the whole point of grace!

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    1. Right? In this upside down Kingdom, it would make sense that the ones who appear not to 'deserve' it, get it (and give it) all the more somehow! Lord, let us not miss the point of grace! Thanks so much for stopping by Rachel!

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  2. Karrilee, such a lovely post. Makes me think of Jonah, how he didn't want to go to Nineveh because He knew God's grace would restore them, and he didn't want any of that. :) Visiting you from two doors down at the Coffee for Your Heart linkup. ((blessings))

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    1. Oh Jonah... yes... some days, I admit, I feel a bit like Jonah when it comes to shelling out grace! Mostly I want it... I want grace for everyone... it's just sometimes I want it for 'them' later! ;) Thanks for stopping by for a visit, Brenda!

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  3. That grace quote you stumbled upon is PURE GOLD! I may have to borrow that in one of my later posts. And THIS: "You get a glimpse of the crazy, wild, beyond comprehension abandon with which He freely pours out His grace and mercy." It is so hard to offer grace to others especially when we don't want too, but yet God still calls us to give it to them. He is scandalous like that isn't he? I have to remember that he was the first to eat with tax collectors and sinners.

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    1. Right? I couldn't believe that quote... perfect definition of Grace: "Grace is one-way love. Grace doesn’t make demands. It just gives." The good news is when He calls us to love like that, and we find ourselves lacking, HIS Love will flow through us... (it's just that sometimes we forget!) ;)

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  4. Hi Karrilee,
    Grace is lovely to receive but difficult to extend, isn't it? (or is that just me?!) I can relate to having a person in your life that is difficult to extend grace to and I'm sure you're right -- that's exactly why they are in our lives! I think it just takes practice and I'm grateful God give us so many opportunities! :) Visiting from Holley's link-up today.

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    1. Oh friend... it's not just you! (I see what you did there!) ;) Grateful for the opportunities... yes, Lord! Let me be grateful!!! Thanks so much for stopping by Valerie!

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  5. "Show me your merits"...ouch. Yes, we think this way sometimes. As always, a joy to read what God has laid on your creative heart. Visiting from Coffee For Your Heart.

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    1. Thanks Ginger! It's nice to know I'm not alone! ;) Ouch is right! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

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  6. OH my word. Every single post today that I'm reading for the 5-4-5 is just hitting me right where I've been living. Yours is like the icing on the cake. I LOVE how our Father does that for me! He knows I'm a hard-headed woman and so He just brings me word after word until my heart and my own stubborn will just CRACK. THAT is some kind of grace! Thanks, Karrilee!

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    1. LOL Shelby! I love that... God does that with me as well! Confirmation is such a gift, right? Even when it pulls us up and out... maybe especially then!

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  7. I grew up in a very legalistic environment, and grace is such hard concept for me to wrap my brain around!

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    1. It is so hard, isn't it Melissa? We make it so much harder than it is... it's just so beyond our comprehension that it feels better to scale it back a bit and so we can define it! So appreciate you hanging out, my friend!

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  8. This post spoke to me today. I had a situation of deep wrenching hurt in my life several years ago and thought I had taken care of it in my life but today I again see these persons from time to time and know that all is not well in my spirit. I'm rejoicing (even if it is really hard) that God has given me another chance to "put this under the blood." Thanks for sharing your heart.

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    1. Rebecca, I am so sorry for that situation! It's so hard when we feel we have dealt with something, only to have it come back around again... praying for you as you take this second chance to offer grace and to put this, as you said, under the blood of Jesus! May there be grace for you... and grace for 'them'!

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  9. So much truth here. Isn't it something how God has us live out what He encourages us to write. I so often write about my weaknesses and things that NEED to change. His grace really is sufficient. Thanks and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Deb! Are you like me, though? Sometimes I THINK I would prefer that He just let me write about it... you know, to help others. But no... He has a bigger better plan and He actually wants me to live it out too! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. Love this! Well...actually I was convicted by it, but that's a good thing - right? Oh how often I expect grace, but am unwilling to give it! (This is definitely something I've been working on lately.) Thank you for the reminder and for the encouragement in knowing that I'm not alone in the struggle. :)

    Alyssa (visiting from #CoffeeForYourHeart)

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    1. LOL - Oh friend... me, too! Me, too! I was convicted writing it because - gah! We like it for ourselves and we like it for free... but it's when He asks us to extend it out to others - even 'others' who don't act like that even want it... It's hard, right? But His Grace is sufficient for me... and everyone else... and when my grace is lacking, His never is! I just need to remember to tap into it! Thankful I am not alone too! Thanks for popping on over!

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  11. Oh, my! I feel your feels. I have someone in my life that comes along with my husband, and I have the hardest time extending grace to this person. Every interaction is like sandpaper or fingernails on the chalkboard or both at the same time. Breathe deeply. I need to extend grace, not hug it to my hollow little chest where my heart should be.

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    1. Oh friend... extending grace takes practice, and grace, right? ;) I know for me - it helps to remember how He freely gives it to me... I just find when dealing with difficult people - I forget that! I heard someone the other night say "People are not a distraction... they are a gift... an opportunity!" Wow - let me remember that Lord -because sometimes I forget that too!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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