Grace Is Freely Given

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Big thanks to my mom for stepping up on the blog this week. I am struggling with an intense infection and the medicine is wiping me and my brain out. She was so kind to step in this week and write on the next topic in the family series, grace. Welcome my Mom! - Hannah

We put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves and our families this time of year. We make our plan for the perfect family event, issue the invitation for family members to arrive at 11:30 a.m., lunch will be served precisely at noon, and everyone will be settled in front of the TV in plenty of time for the kick-off of the must see game. This event only happens once a year and we desire perfection.

But, on the big day there is one family that arrives an hour late, the meal is served late, and the entire plan goes up in smoke. 

How do we react when our plan is destroyed because someone shows up late or maybe doesn’t show up at all? I know in my family there is a lot of grumbling and complaining about those who are holding things up. There is a lot of talk recalling all of the instances where they have been late or caused disappointment in the past.

This is not how Jesus treats us when we sin and disappoint him. He gives freely of his grace and forgives us every time we sin and cause him pain. I know extending grace and forgiving family members is hard, especially when we have to keep forgiving for the same offense over and over again. But isn’t that what Jesus does for us? I know I’ve been struggling with some of the same sins for over 40 years and he keeps forgiving me and working in me. Grace is hard because we want to put conditions on it. If they will just do this one thing, whatever that one thing might be, I will forgive them. Romans 11:6 tells us grace based on works is not grace. Grace is freely given.

This holiday season join me in the challenge to extend grace to family members. The only way we can successfully meet this challenge is with God’s help. 

God, Thank you for this season and all the reasons we have to be thankful and celebrate. Thank you for your grace that is freely given to us. Please give us the strength and grace we need in order to extend grace to our family members who cause us pain and disappointment during this holiday season and moving forward.

- Angela (Hannah's Mom)