Grace is the anchor of our faith, the reason for the confidence we have in a God of mercy. It’s what is extended to us through a relationship with God established by the sacrifice of Christ. When we accept it from our Creator, it seems it should be such an easy thing to extend because he does it so magnificently. But for us to live our lives offering the same grace to others is anything but an easy task.
Living a life of grace is very often misinterpreted. Some believe it’s an indicator of weakness. In the eyes of many, extending the truest form of grace, which is forgiveness, means giving up. Others believe grace is automatic and easy to show. Quite the contrary—living a life of grace takes an enormous amount of strength and a boatload of tenacity.
“Living a life of grace takes an enormous amount of strength and a boatload of tenacity.” Darlene Brock
When you find yourself faced with a choice to walk away and give up or to offer grace to another even when undeserved, as was extended to us, there are five things you must be willing to do.
1. Invite God into it. You have been hurt, and you’re likely still hurting—which is what makes forgiveness complicated. Sometimes we feel as though extending forgiveness invalidates our pain. Quite the contrary; even if we do show grace, our pain still matters to God. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
2. Deal honestly. It doesn’t require forgetting, excusing, or ignoring the problem. Discuss the conflict. Remember that listening, as well as speaking, is essential.“For the one who has caused me grief has not only grieved me but, to some extent, has caused you all grief as well. I believe that your united rebuke has been punishment enough for him. Instead of more punishment, what he needs most is your encouragement through your gracious display of forgiveness. I beg you to reaffirm your deep love for him.” 2 Cor 2:5-8 TPT
3. Make a choice. Grace is extended decisively; we are encouraged to do so by the God who gave it to us. This takes strength we may feel we don’t have, but the choice is ours to make. “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Eph 4:2 NLT
4. Leave the past behind. It’s not real grace (forgiveness) if you don’t let go of what was.“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Col 3:13-14 NLT
5. Build the future. Move forward in the relationship, not to accept repeat offenses but to offer a fresh start.
Every action that extends grace must be clothed in strength and ladled with determination and endurance. This type of grace is the beginning and end of our faith. It is most certainly one of the lovely traits that create a woman’s real beauty and strength.
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