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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Grace and Mercy: Give a Little, Get a Lot!

This weekend in church I almost fell asleep. I'm normally a "in bed at 9:00" kind of gal, but the last few nights I had been up late (like 11 p.m. late!) reading a book called, "The Connected Child." Probably the best book I've read in years. It is written specifically for adoptive parents, but many of the described techniques can be applied to bio kids as well. I'll be talking more about this book in the next few weeks. I've gleaned some life-changing insights and can't wait to share them! But, I want to finish the book first. 

I digress. So, I was almost falling asleep in church and I hear the pastor say something (I'm a woman--I can do more than one thing at once!). He shared a definition of grace: "GETTING what you DON'T deserve," and mercy: "NOT getting what you DO deserve." Wow. Maybe some of you have heard this definition before, but I sure hadn't. It was like cold water got splashed in my face, and I woke up. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I don't know what the rest of the sermon was about, because I was focused so much on that little gold nugget. At first, I was just thinking how amazing it is that the Lord of the whole universe, the Creator, has mercy on me. I am not getting what I deserve, for He has forgiven me of my sins. The thought of Jesus dying on the cross for me (and you) was real in that moment. It wasn't just a far-off thought, or a gentle admiration for what He had done for me. It was real

And grace? I practically swooned right there in my seat. "Getting what you DON'T deserve." I don't deserve his forgiveness. I don't deserve to be in His presence eternally after I die. I am a sinner. I make mistakes every day, and then I apologize and make the same mistake again the next day. I don't deserve what I'm getting. 

And then it came to me. This is probably not an "ah-ha" moment to many of you, but for me it was. I am called to be "like Christ." I am called have grace and mercy on my kids; even on perfect strangers. That person who cut me off on the freeway and then proceeded to point their tallest finger at me? That's right. Don't give them what they DO deserve, and GIVE THEM what they DON'T deserve. The bitter person in the checkout line? Yup, you got it. Grace. Mercy. The kid who keeps making the same mistakes? Yes, ma'am (or sir...)! You know it! Why should I expect my kids to make a mistake once and never return to that blunder, when I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again? I shouldn't. I should give them just what the Lord has given me: Grace and mercy. Giving them what they don't deserve, and not giving them what the DO deserve.

Don't you just want do dance a little jig? It's not our job to judge our kids (or anyone else)! We just need to give them a little grace and mercy, and let the Lord do the rest. 


Sarah Wieder said...

This is great! What an awesome reminder of us getting what we truly don't deserve. Thanks for sharing!

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