Got Grace?

Grace binds you with far stronger cords than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you. Grace is free, but when once you take it, you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver. Like produces like. Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give. ~ E. Stanley Jones

I’m changing my eating habits. I’m trying to be a healthier. The hardest part isn’t what I need to give up, it’s making choices. I understand the appeal of all those diet programs where they send you prepackaged meals. It’s costly, but there’s no thinking to do, no decisions to make. Follow the program. You’ll succeed because they’ll make the choices for you. Play it safe and you’ll lose!

For most of my life, Christianity was like a prepackaged meal plan. I’ve never not believed in Jesus. As far back as I can remember, I’ve believed in the God who became a man, died for my sins, rose again and will be back one day. I’ve never had any doubt about it.

When I was told I needed to be born again (pray a prayer, go to an altar, make a confession), I did. I got saved. I already believed, but I got saved anyway. As a matter of fact, I got saved quite a few times, in case it didn’t take.

And I got baptized – 3 times. Different denominations had different ideas aboutΒ  properΒ way and I always wanted to get it right.

I got saved and I got baptized. What I didn’t get was grace. I was perfect in the pews. I chose the safety of prepackaged Christianity; the program of do’s and don’ts, of duty and obligation, where I couldn’t make a mistake. There were no hard choices, just lots of good deeds and a positive attitude. I played it safe. It was so very costly.

Grace binds you with far stronger cords than the cords of duty or obligation can bind you. Grace is free, but when once you take it, you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver.

When I wasn’t – when I’m not gracious – everyone loses, guaranteed. Grace makes you gracious, the Giver makes you give.

Like produces like. I finally get it. Got grace? Prove it. Give it.

Author: Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

38 thoughts on “Got Grace?”

  1. Great words!!! I do think some of our “faking” is because we really don’t know better. The prepackaged plan doesn’t explain enough. If we embrace that grace we are “bound to catch the spirit”!

    1. Judi –
      So true. For a long time I really didn’t know better.
      There did come a day, though, when my eyes were opened and I decided to squeeze them shut for a while anyway…
      Love and grace to you, my friend,
      ~ Debbie

  2. Once again you have spoken from your gracious heart. What a great comparison! Coming from a “good deeds” background It was amazing to realize His Grace and all that it meant. More will know it the more we show it.
    Love and Blessings, Sue

    1. Dear friend,
      We learned our lessons well, didn’t we, Sue?
      I would happily trade 90% of my “knowledge” for a heart that was 10% more gracious back then.
      Well, now too, for that matter.
      I’m getting it, and I pray I’m showing it, but I’ll never reach the point where I don’t need to show it more and more.
      Much love to you,
      ~ Debbie

    1. Joss –
      And you’re clever! πŸ˜‰
      I hope that if we were to hang out together, you’d still be able to say that!
      love and grace to you,
      ~ Debbie

  3. this is brilliant! awesome I am trying to see God and His grace more without this annoyance of “tradition and obligations” in the “church”
    πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Darrel!
      You came back again! πŸ˜‰
      Sometimes I think we Christians are more like an eclispe than a light source.
      Thanks for the encouragement!
      ~ Debbie

  4. Gracious one. . .wouldn’t that make a great billboard? Got grace? πŸ™‚ I heard a quote on the radio . . .maybe by Tozer? It was about how we can’t really be used by Him unless we have been extremely hurt first. It makes me think about Heidi’s comment too, that it’s hard to show grace or know grace, unless we’ve been so humbled and hurt and received it in abundance. I find that some don’t like it when I show grace to someone else . .. like to my special needs daughter. I wish they could see that that kind of grace is available to them too. God bless you and thank you for our grace baths we get here. Now, to take it on the road! πŸ™‚ love and prayers!

    1. Oh Deb –
      You make some really interesting points.
      I’m afraid if we put up the billboard, no one would know what it was about. There’s so little evidence of grace I don’t think the word carries much meaning, do you?

      And, yes, I so agree with you and Heidi – it’s rare to me an unbroken person who shows a great deal of grace.

      Your last comment makes me so sad.
      Your love and protection and kindness toward Aub is grace personified.
      You’re right, they haven’t tasted or they wouldn’t turn away.
      love to you as you lavish grace on Aub and all the rest of us,
      ~ Debbie

  5. Oh this is Wonderful, indeed, Debbie! I laughed at the part about getting saved/baptized repeatedly (in case it didn’t take)–been there, done that too. I truly love those words, “bound forever to the Giver”–Yes Yes Yes, that’s my kind of Jesus. And I took a breath as I accepted the challenge at the end–I SO want to Prove that I’ve got Grace, and give it generously! God bless you, dear sister, today and always, abundantly–love, sis Caddo S.G., P.G., F.F.

    1. Dear Caddo of the many fitting letters,
      I want to wear grace like those folks in the Got Milk commercials!
      I want it to show all the time! That’s my prayer.
      As my sweet friend says to me, God bless you BIG!
      ~ Debbie

      1. Maybe you could pray for God to serve me up an extra helping–I seem to be short of it sometimes/lately–and then the unfortunate result is that I have even less grace for myself (beating myself up for fair!)–aarrgghh (I’m fine, really)

  6. I love that challenge at the end. Been thinking… I’ve got a notion that unless we truly get heaping helpings of grace (and at a time when we actually know we don’t deserve it) we cannot drum it up. We can fake it for a while or in a few areas, but we will continue to condemn, judge and picket at the hearts of the defeated because we just plain cannot give grace without receiving it from Him in some big way. In the humility of the humbled, I can give grace; before that, I was faking even grace. So sad but true for me. Maybe it’s just me.

    1. Dear Heidi –
      How did I miss this comment?
      Yes! Exactly! I can’t speak for the hidden heart, but I can speak from my experience.
      I haven’t met any unbroken people who get grace. They may get “saved” but they don’t get grace.
      Brokenness isn’t about ‘spectacular sins’ – whatever those are deemed to be. It’s about humility in all sin. I was a faker, too. Sad but true. It’s not just you.
      ~ Debbie

  7. Excellent post that really makes you think, Debbie – I also went through some of this, trying to “do it right”. Today I make more conscious choices that work for me far more than the “prepackaged” ones. ~ Julie xox

    1. Dear Julie –
      I think I watched Mary Poppins one too many times when I was young. I tried “practically perfect in every way” until it almost was the end of me!
      It’s a joy to see you here!
      ~ Debbie

    1. Hello Ian!
      You inspired this post, in part, by your comment about our fear of grace.
      I think I’m going to like getting to know you quite a lot! πŸ˜€
      I’m not a writer (more of a talker who types with typos). I never write ahead.
      I had my heart set on this quote last night. I spent a couple of hours trying to narrow it down to 350 words. I had it completely written. Waited an hour. Reread it and thought, “No that’s not it at all.”
      I trashed it, kept the quote and wrote it over again.
      The second version bore virtually no similarity to the first where I’d gotten entirely sidetracked by A.J. Muste.
      I hit publish before I could change my mind again.
      It’s a topic that comes up a lot here so I figure I can take many runs at it! πŸ˜€
      Thank you for joining in the journey!
      ~ Debbie

  8. Choice, and the right choices are a beautiful and POWERFUL thing. Love to you oh wise and brave warrior! xo mel

    1. Mel –
      So true, my friend!
      Well, maybe not so much the part about me – but the choice part! πŸ˜‰
      I don’t feel very warrior-like, but thanks for thinking so anyway!
      Love to you, too!
      ~ Debbie

    1. Dear Linda –
      The irony of me writing a blog that centers (hopefully) on grace is that for most of my life, I only saw grace as a nice benediction, not remotely related to action.
      Thank you for continuing to be such a faithful traveling companion.
      ~ Debbie

  9. What a beautiful line: you are bound forever to the Giver and bound to catch the spirit of the Giver.

    Catching the spirit of the Giver – Forever bound to the Giver

    Amen and Amen

    May we all “catch His spirit”

    God Bless
    susie

    1. Susie –
      I think what we’re bound is more obvious than we tend to believe.
      Yes, may we all catch the spirit of the Giver! Wouldn’t that be something? The world would never recover!
      Love and grace,
      ~ Debbie

  10. Great comparison to prepackaged dieting. This has great potential for other comparisons, too, such as hiring a trainer instead of getting some self-control, going to a gym instead of, pushing a lawn mower or whatever real exercise, getting a job to afford a housekeeper and childcare, instead of staying home and doing it yourself. The list is endless, I think, and you really have started me thinking.
    THANKS! πŸ™‚

    1. Hello Katharine!
      I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 19:14 –
      May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
      be pleasing in your sight,
      Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
      I guess that pretty much covers it! πŸ˜€
      Grace to you and you think!
      ~ Debbie

  11. I’ve been wrestling with this very subject and had/have plans to post re “getting saved.” You took the words right out of your mouth. Your experience was very similar to mine. Thanks so much.

    1. Dear Lew –
      Once again, I’m having trouble getting to your blog. I don’t understand it?
      Repeatedly I get the message: Problem loading page.
      I’ll keep trying. πŸ™‚
      I would love to read your thoughts on this if you decide to write them out!
      Thank you for being my friend,
      ~ Debbie

  12. Yes, a thousand yeses! You’ve told part of my story here, dear friend, and where I’ve found myself at last- seeking the baptism of grace. Full immersion in the Giver Himself. Let’s keep bathing in it daily!

    1. Oh Debby,
      My sister in name and heart – yes! Let’s do! πŸ˜€
      I count on you to keep me mindful.
      As my friend says – πŸ˜€ …
      All is grace,
      ~ Debbie

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