I’ve been thinking a lot lately about, What is grace?
It all started with a conversation with a close friend. It went something like this . . .
I suck at remembering to send thank you cards.
I just . . . do.
It’s something that I’ve always struggled with throughout my life.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate people and the things others do for me (I really, really do), but it seems like I almost always forget to send thank you cards.
I’m not a details person and often things like that slip out of my mind during the non-stop garbage in/garbage out thing that happens constantly in my head.
It’s not an excuse, but just who I am.
Thankfully, most of my friends and family understand this about me. Most accept that I say thank you (and really mean it) and don’t hold their breath for a thank you card from me.
Most of them show me grace in this area where I fall short.
(And, for that, I am grateful.)
What Does Grace Mean? | A Grace Definition
So, what is grace?
Grace is “unmerited favor,” or something that is given to someone (or done for someone) that is not necessarily deserved.
This grace definition states, “So what does it mean to ‘give grace to one another’? It primarily means seeing one another as new creations in Christ, recognizing the grace we received at salvation is working as a change agent in our lives, forever (Phil. 1:6).”
“In other words, we’re all in process.”
I saw one definition online that stated that the grace meaning is “…that moment when God’s presence is experienced and it makes magic happen.”
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So, What is Grace in Everyday Life?
How do you show grace to others?
Part of Galatians 6:1-2 states, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Bear one another’s burdens…
Grace Covers Me says it so beautifully:
There is humility, a willingness to go the extra mile for others, a devotion to the family of God. And, perhaps most importantly, a grace-giver has positioned herself to receive from friends the very same truth and grace that she is committed to giving.
A willingness to go the extra mile for others…
How Do We Model Grace for Our Children?
Fast forward a few days after that late night conversation about grace with my friend.
My daughter and I were out to lunch in between some of her outside the home classes.
After ordering, the waitress brought us two glasses of water. And, I’m not talking about regular sized glasses of water.
I’m talking about two mega, chain restaurant sized glasses of water.
As the waitress placed our appetizer on the table, her tray dipped a little and those two monster sized freezing cold glasses of water fell right into my lap, drenching my shirt and pants.
At this point, I had two choices:
1. Be super annoyed that I was going to have to wear wet clothes on a blustery cold day for the next six hours because I didn’t have time to run home and change, or
2. I could show this young woman grace.
One look at her face and I knew exactly what I had to do.
I saw it in her eyes, something that said, “Oh no! Not this, too, today!”
As she apologized profusely, I put my hand on her arm and calmly said, “It’s OK. Don’t worry about.” I looked at her right in the eye and said, “It’s OK. Really.”
And, I saw the relief on her face.
All the while, my daughter watched from the other side of the table.
What is Grace? (Part 2: A Missed Opportunity)
That same day, another weird thing happened.
We had about 45 minutes in between two more of our outside classes, so we ran into a fast food place to get a drink and allow that time at the indoor playground.
As we waited for our drinks, a mom dropped a coffee on the floor right where an employee had just mopped.
The mom was mortified and she apologized to the man who leaned against his mop and shook his head in disgust.
The mom kept an eye on her little one while using napkin after napkin, trying to wipe up the spill. Everyone in the restaurant looked on . . . including the employee, who stood there with the mop in his hand and refused to just mop up the spill for the woman.
Instead, he sighed loudly, shook his head, and remained annoyed, adding to the woman’s embarrassment.
I stepped in and said, “You know, you have a mop there. You could simply just mop up the small spill instead of making her get on her hands and knees to wipe it up.”
The employee just stared at me, annoyed.
He said nothing.
He never helped the woman, who cleaned up the floor by herself.
Missed opportunity for grace.
One small swipe of a mop would’ve shown that embarrassed mom so much grace.
And, my daughter watched on . . .
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m certainly no saint.
On any other given day, I may not have shown grace to that waitress.
Or, I may have been too busy and rushed right past that mom who dropped her coffee and not even noticed that situation.
But, to give grace, we first have to slow down enough to realize the situations that need grace.
And, we have to be sure to model grace to our children in those situations so that they can understand, What is grace?
How are you modeling grace for your kids?
Activities to Teach Grace
Grace can be a hard concept for kids to grasp, so adding lessons, activities, and games on grace can be helpful.
Watch a Video on What Is Grace?
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