Monday, November 9, 2015

the reality of grace

There are two kinds of smart: book smart and street smart. Book smart means you've got a lot of knowledge in your head. Street smart means you've got a lot of knowledge in your gut. I tend to think we're one or the other.

I am [helplessly]...book smart.

Not to say that I hate being book smart. I love learning things, picking things apart, discovering the world bit by bit. But for the most part, it all stays in my head.

One of the classes I took in college used a textbook called Heart Deep Teaching (Gary Newton). It focused on getting head knowledge to become heart knowledge. From what I know to what I believe.

I've been talking about a few foundational elements that keep my eyes fixed on Jesus: keeping God first, working the Bible into daily living, living as the humans we are, and practicing the power of family.

Today's post covers the final element: realizing (and relishing) the reality of grace.

We know--book smarts--that God has a lot of grace for His people. For us. But more often than not, we don't know--street smarts--it. This is especially critical for us as parents because we can get really good at beating ourselves up for falling short.

We're either overly protective or disengaged, too worried or too busy--constantly missing the mark.

It's important for us not only to remember God's overwhelming grace, but also to believe that it's more than enough to cover us in spite of everything we do and fail to do (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

Jesus' sacrifice remains as true in our weakness as it does in our strength.

He thinks we're good enough whether we managed a three-course meal or McDonald's for dinner.

God gives us grace whether we woke up and had quiet time with Him or woke up and fell back asleep.

We are still works in progress. God isn't finished with us yet (Heb. 10:10, 14). God knows this. If you're like me, you forget it--most of the time.

We've been granted one of the greatest privileges of all time: raising kids. It often doesn't seem like it--not with the food-stained carpet and heaps of laundry--but it is. We don't have children because we wanted children. We have children because God gave them to us.

But God doesn't just give us kids and then sit back to see what we do. He offers to walk alongside us. He's made Himself and His Word available to us for 24/7 access. He's helped us realize that we're complex beings who need nourishment in different areas. He's given us people who love us and people to love on. And He's given us grace for every misstep along the way.

Today, give yourself as best as you can the same enduring kindness God gives to us1. Live graciously with yourself while we await perfection when Jesus returns.


1 The Command of Grace: A New Theological Apologetic, Janz, p.164