Over the weekend my husband and I have faced conflict with each other.
During difficult times in life, particularly when it comes to marriage, there a few key ingredients that are more than ever during those moments.
In the previous Lenten devotional we delved a bit into forgiveness and how it essential it is in our lives, especially when it comes to our relationships. Even as we need forgiveness to continue on together, perhaps even more importantly: we need grace.
It’s a strange term “grace”. We probably don’t truly understand it even though it affects our daily lives. We more than likely don’t think about it and talk about it even less.
But the fact is–as we practice our daily walk as believers, the essence of our belief stems on grace. Grace is shown to us in our relationship with God and, with that in mind, we are almost obliged to learn how to practice grace in our relationships with others.
The inherent definition of grace is Biblical. Merriam-Webster defines grace as “a virtue coming from God” or “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification”.
Sometimes I think we trip up on the concept of it. Grace is bestowed by God so therefore we aren’t truly privy to it? We cannot understand or comprehend it? If we aren’t God himself, then how can we be expected to completely grasp what grace is and how to extend it to people around us?
It’s very clear that grace and forgiveness walk hand in hand. Perhaps grace is the divine strength that is given to us so we may extend forgiveness. Forgiveness is a conscious act and grace almost seems to simply flow through us from above.
Is it possible that grace is given to us specifically by the Holy Spirit to gird us for forgiveness and mercy?
It may be impossible for us to truly grasp what grace is, but maybe the point of grace is not to *understand* it, but to accept it and to show it to those around us.
This means that when we are fighting and strident, when we have the moral upper hand, that we show grace and forgiveness. I believe it means we don’t “rub it in” or behave superior because perhaps we have made better choices than our significant others.
In other words—we all need grace: to give and to receive…because we’re not always going to have the “upper hand”, so to speak.
Jesus showed abounding grace in the days leading up to his death and resurrection. Let us remember that as we move closer to the Easter season…and let us show grace (and forgiveness!) to those who need it the most from us, no matter how hard it may be.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, send your grace to me when I need it the most. Give me strength when I am facing conflict and help me to treat those around me with love, grace and forgiveness even when I am hurting. AMEN.