Learning to Live in Grace
“So also Abraham ‘believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Galatians 3:6
I struggled to fully grasp and live in God’s grace for a long time. Whenever I lost my temper, said something unkind, or gave in to temptation, though I’d confess my sin to God and apologize to whomever I’d wronged, I held tight to guilt and self-condemnation. I focused on my moral failings, all my mistakes, more than the cross.
Two books helped me understand grace in a much deeper, more soul-healing way. The first was titled the Ragamuffin Gospel, and though it didn’t contain any truths I hadn’t heard before, somehow reading about God’s love and mercy night after night helped those truths stick.
The second book, Saturate, was written by a pastor who honestly shared his struggles and weaknesses. Once, while leading a small faith community in his home, he began treating his wife poorly. When the others called him out, he didn’t get defensive. Rather, he acknowledged his sin, confessed to God, apologized to his wife and the others, and moved on. Each time I read similar examples, my heartfelt a little freer. Was it really that easy to live in grace, I wondered?
Years ago, while reading through Hebrews 11, I asked my Bible professor why Abraham was often referred to as a man of faith when he clearly doubted God so many times. My professor’s response: Why are we called people of faith when we doubt Christ again and again? That’s grace.
I’m so thankful God’s grace and faithfulness aren’t dependent on me and my ability to love and serve Him perfectly. If that were possible, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die on the cross. But His death proved how desperately I need Him and the lengths He went to draw me near, to wash me clean, and free me from all guilt and shame. All He asks me to do in response is receive the gift He’s freely given.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes and podcasts for Crosswalk, is the author of Building a Family along with numerous other titles, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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