In 1995 the world held its collective breath, awaiting the results of the O. J. Simpson trial for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend—often called the most publicized criminal trial in history.
I was in a staff meeting when the results were reported to us: acquitted.
I sadly confess my immediate thought was, “That man will not get what he deserves.”
And then, to my shock, I clearly heard the voice of God, “Neither do you, Cindy, neither do you.”
Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and can never earn. And can never lose.
It is simply and purely a gift. But one we must actively receive and incorporate into our lives. I lived a long time without unwrapping my gift of grace. Oh, I knew I was saved, and I was seeking to live under the lordship of Christ, but I hadn’t yet fully grasped my great sinfulness or His great love and forgiveness. Of me.
The very nature of grace is that it is undeserved.
If we earned it, grace would be a reward—for good behavior, for doing all the right things, sort of like brownie points. For people who live in a culture full of reward and punishment, the concept of undeserved grace doesn’t come easily. Because I could not grasp it, I became a POW—prisoner of works. I thought if I did enough, God would love me more.
Are you trying to do enough and be enough to earn God’s favor? Aren’t you ready to just lay it all down—all the striving and stressing? Will you just pick up the gift of grace and open it?
When we choose to live as those who have received grace, we are compelled to make a choice to offer grace. To everyone.
What does that look like? A hundred small and large things. Mostly, it looks like wounded healers. Those of us who walk with a limp are slower and more approachable to the hurting ones seeking healing. It looks like seeing beyond what is being said to what is going on in another person’s heart, their life, their circumstances. Not taking offense.
It means living for an audience of one—doing all to the glory of God.
Grace changed my life forever, and it can change yours too.
Lord, You know how much time and effort I wasted striving to be perfect. Thank You for offering the gift of grace to all of us who are completely unworthy but totally accepted. Help me, in turn, become a grace-giver to those I encounter who need to know the good news. Amen.
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com
Want to read all of the “One Daily Choice” Blogs? Click HERE to read as each one goes live. These 12 weeks of blogs — adapted from Lucinda’s award-winning book “Life-Giving Choices” — come out each Wednesday morning through December 22. Thanks for reading. Click HERE to add your email to get blogs weekly in your in box.
Just what I needed for my heart today. Thanks, Lucinda!
Excellent reminder and I like your analogy of being a POW…prisoner of works. I will remember that when I have the opportunity to share it with others.
Thank you for this excellent reminder and especially the acronym of POW…prisoner of works is a perfect expression of trying to win God’s approval. I will share it with others when I have the opportunity.
I’ve Never Heard, Grace explained this way. I need to read it a few more times, I think.
That striving is exhausting. This is a whole new way of looking at it. And, it almost instantly slowed me down. I do need to read a few of your books. Oxox❤️
Loved your book Amazed by Grace! Thanks for this, Cindy.