I have heard grace defined as, "unmerited favor"...or receiving something that is not deserved.
Oh how we scream when we don't get something we think we deserve! From the time we are babies we have this innate sense of what we think we deserve, what we think we have the right to have and dog-gone-it we are gonna fight for it! "That's not fair!" we all have heard it...perhaps we have even said it ourselves. As parents we say back to our tantrum throwing child, "Life's not fair! (get used to it!!) And yet as adults we still carry the same mantra...Life should be fair shouldn't it?? I should get what I deserve, what I work for, what I want...
Let me say, that mind set should come with a huge WARNING!
Think about the times when you get something you DID NOT deserve, work for, want. Do we still throw the tantrum?? Transitioning from level 4 to 5 in the nursing program, I was incredibly humbled by receiving something I didn't feel I deserved anymore than some of my friends, one of my closest friends. I didn't study more than she did, I didn't work as many hours as she did trying to provide for her family, I didn't "deserve" to move ahead anymore than she did. Why me and not her? Try that on for size. Instead of always throwing the temper tantrum when you think you deserve more, try stomping your feet and raising your fist to heaven when you receive unmerited favor! Do we do that?
Back to the warning...
What is it that I deserve? What do you deserve? Who tells us what we deserve anyway?
I am a sinner, I can admit that. The Bible tells me the cost for that is death. That is what I deserve. PERIOD. There is a cost for Adam and Eve's original sin and that was separation from God, death."For the wages (the cost) of sin is death.." Romans 6:23
But God! But God lavishes us with His unmerited favor, His grace!
"...but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (the rest of Romans 6:23)Look for the word grace in the Bible and what will you find? It enters in the New Testament...why? Because that's when Jesus enters. He enters our world and pays the price once and for all for our sins, not His; MINE, YOURS. I think that was worthy of some feet stomping, fist raising, screaming, "this isn't fair!!" Is that what we see?? NO!! We see grace...a sacrificial lamb, punished for something He didn't do, take a whipping, have thorns pushed into His head, nailed to a cross, look to the heaven's as He breathed his last and say, " IT IS FINISHED!" I have paid the price once and for all, for ALL. Receive the gift, the undeserved, life's not fair, He paid the price for my sin, He took the whipping for my wrong doing, free gift of grace from our Savior.
Be careful the next time you wanna yell, "this isn't fair!" Remember, who had the right to scream that but didn't! Instead He suffered to demonstrate His love and grace to us. Receive the gift? Or stomp your feet and refuse saying, "but it's not fair". You're right it isn't fair!