This post will be real, vulnerable, and unpolished, because this is a phrase God is teaching me right now and not a lesson that I have walked through and arrived at the other side of.
Grace is a continual struggle for me and sometimes I fear it will take my whole life for me to learn this truth. Every time I think I get it, the Lord shows me what His grace really looks like and exposes me for the legalistic, guilt stained, rule follower that I am. To graciously give and receive grace for which we don't ask or even realize how desperately we need... that take such purpose and selflessness. Whether we are ignorant to it or overwhelmed by it, grace takes sacrifice and gives freedom.
No matter how awesome our relationships are, moments will come when we need to extend grace to other. No one is good enough. Let's be quick to give grace, to make allowance for other's faults. Forgive. And forget. Believe in others and give them the benefit of the doubt.
No matter how good we think we, we need grace. We will mess up and make mistakes. It is so important that we receive grace and not live in condemnation, replaying the mistake over and over. Don't beat yourself up. Grace does not do that.
When God is speaking to me about something, He makes me walk through it and opens my eyes to the reality of my need for the lesson. Two days ago I went to lunch with some friends. We enjoyed our time and laughed together. I had to rush off to a meeting so I thanked everyone and left in a hurry... only to get a sweet text letting me know that I had walked out on the bill, and that someone had covered it. I felt awful and embarrassed. I could not believe I did that! I apologized profusely and told her I would pay her back. She said not to worry about it and just receive the blessing. For the last two days I have been thinking about it, talking to people about my mistake and looking for another way to repay her, bless her in return. I hang it over myself that I owe them. But my friend isn't doing that. She hasn't thought of it or brought it up again. She gave grace, covered my shortcoming and left it at that.
This is the truth of the Gospel that I am working so hard to comprehend. It is a difficult concept for us as sinners to understand--- that our Creator desired such an intimate relationship with us that while we were yet sinners He wrapped Himself in skin and came to earth to live a sinless life, forsaking his diety and sacrificing his humanity, to offer us the grace of a reconciled relationship with Him. He paid the price of our debt with no strings attached. Whether we ever accept this or not, as we wrestle through this truth, there is nothing we can and nothing we need to do to repay Him, but just to recognize it and say THANK YOU. That's what Grace did.