Grace Denied

Do you deny grace in your life? Do you stiff arm gracious acts from others because you feel like you will then owe them something in return? Accepting grace is hard to do. Maybe you don’t think so but for some reason it’s challenging for me and many others I know.

I’m preparing to go on my annual overnighter with one of my very best friends. It’s nothing extravagent but it’s a time I look forward to each year now with much anticipation. Mainly so we can hang out together but also because we start (and sometimes finish because we don’t do much in the gift department) our Christmas shopping. Last week my friend told me she was going to treat me and pay for the hotel. I immediately thought about how I could pay her back. I sent a text right away saying “Thanks so much and I would buy meals.” She replied saying, That’s sweet but she wanted to treat me this year and I couldn’t pay her back. (I also told her not to boss me and she said sometimes I needed bossed around. Agreed.) Don’t get me wrong I was soooooo grateful but just accepting with a thankful heart and not wanting to pay her back in some way is so hard for me.

I had been thinking about this whole accepting grace stuff a lot anyway because of our time in Costa Rica. So rewind, Andy and I are sharing the gospel with these two amazing students and he gets out a $10 bill and tries to give it to them. They refuse adamantly because they didn’t earn it. We then explain again that’s what Christ did for us on the cross. We did nothing to earn it, we just accept it. They still had a hard time with that concept. As do most people, including myself. We want to have done something to deserve it, have been good enough, etc. But that’s the great thing about grace, it’s not earned and you don’t deserve it. You just get to accept it and live out of thankfulness. And maybe you do kind things in response to that, but it’s not expected or gains you more right to the gracious act.

I kept thinking about our conversation with those students and praying they would see how great God is and how grace is not earned. And then, God used my friend to teach me that I am the same way. I deny grace daily. I feel guilty and try to earn my good standing. And when I really think about it, I feel like God likes me more when I do a lot of “good” things. Sometimes my heart theology and my head theology are not in line.

What about you? Do you deny grace?

People keep posting things they are thankful for, since it is Thanksgiving month and all. So here’s to the theme of thankfulness; I’m thankful for grace, from others and especially from God. Now to just reach out and grab it and walk in freedom.

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