THE GIFT OF GRACE
It’s winter, and the season for giving just past. It is so fun to give gifts. I have always loved giving gifts, but up until about five years ago, I had a hard time receiving gifts. A good friend told me that receiving a gift makes us feel vulnerable. I know she’s right. Whenever someone gives us a gift, we feel that we need to give them a gift in return. It’s so embarrassing when someone gives us a gift for Christmas (for whom we did not buy a gift – nor were we planning on buying them a gift). Is there some unspoken rule that we have to give a gift to everyone who gives us a gift? If this is true then it wouldn’t be the season of giving, rather, it would be the season of trading.
I want to challenge all of us to give for the sake of giving and receiving a gift with grace.
Why does receiving a gift (without giving one in return), make us feel so vulnerable? It puts us on the receiving, open handed, not giving, end, and it feels lopsided. We feel vulnerable because we are receiving and doing nothing in return. Often, the process of receiving something is indicative of needing something. In regard to Christmas, even though we don’t necessarily “need” that new Peppermint bubble bath set from Bath and Body Works, we feel like we need to give them something in return.
When we consider this concept on a spiritual level, it makes even more sense. Many people hesitate to receive the gift of salvation, because they feel vulnerable, and feeling vulnerable is not something we like to do. We feel lopsided, in need of help, like we can’t receive eternity without giving something in return. But the truth of the matter is God doesn’t need anything from us. He desires to have a relationship with us, and that is only possible through the gift of His Son to us, and our acceptance of that gift. It is a gift of grace. It is nothing we can earn or give something in return of equal value.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgression – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Warrior Moms Unite!®
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 09 February 2016.