As most of you know, my oldest daughter’s name is Grace. It completely fits her, actually. She has singlehandedly taught me more about grace than anything I’ve ever experienced.
The other day we were listening to Christmas music and she heard the line “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of his love…”
She asked me, quietly, “Mommy, why is my name in this song?”
Suddenly I had to try to explain the concept of grace to a 4 year-old. All the Sunday school answers I’ve ever learned ran through my head – unmerited favor (no), sanctification because of His righteousness, not ours (no). All true but far too complicated.
I said “Gracie – this is talking about how God rules the world with truth and absolute love.” I think that was a pretty accurate answer – I was grateful the Lord gave it to me.
God rules the world with truth and absolute love.
There has been some serious tension and strife in my extended family this past year. Like the historic kind that divides families and tears each other apart until people miss funerals because of it. It’s bad. It’s been really difficult to experience and hurtful on all sides.
And it’s human nature in strife like this to believe the ABSOLUTE worst about the other person, while believing the best of ourselves. We’ve seen that on all sides of this argument. We stop communicating, stop working towards peace. We start presenting the best version of our side to the people on “our team” while demonizing the other side. Suddenly small differences that were before simply topics to avoid become vast valleys that separate and divide us because grace is gone.
But God rules the world with truth and absolute love.
What I think the Holy Spirit is teaching me is that to live out Christ in me, I have to live in truth and grace. I must love.
When I am offended? Realize as a Believer in Christ who is told to forgive, I don’t have the right to live offended. I must love.
When I am hurt? Realize I am constantly, unknowingly, hurting those around me. I must love.
When I am tempted to demonize? Realize I am but a miserable selfish sinner saved by grace who doesn’t deserve an ounce of the grace given to me by Christ. I must love.
My sweet Grace is aptly named, and again she teaches me about grace just by her very existence.
He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes (ME, a sinner saved by grace) prove, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of his love…
We can show the world, and our families, the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love when we choose to live as Christ.
The best way I can show my daughter the precious concept that her name represents is to prove His righteousness and his wonderful love as I give grace in my relationships with others. God help me. That’s so hard sometimes!
God forgive me for my part in the disunity in our family. Help me to be better – to prove your glory, righteousness, and love better than I have this year. Please work and move and heal and restore. We need You.