December 3, 2012

The Difference Between Mercy and Grace?

Mercy protects us from the deserved punishment, and Grace provides us with a gift that's undeserved.

When I stop and think how this looks in real life in human relationships, I stop and go "Wow." In fact, it reveals to me where I may not be extending grace! Mercy might be easier to give.... than grace. In the context of a parent-child relationship, it's one thing to move forward in your day after a child throws a terrible tantrum, but do I feel like cuddling up to a belligerent child? Sacrificing my time playing Legos or reading books to a little person who just hit their brother or sister? 

In marriage, we disappoint each other too. I say I can move past disappointments and unmet expectations, but do I offer true grace, perhaps with soothing and encouraging words after his strenuous day at work, or initiate an evening of intimacy after a disagreement? Rather, I might just compound the issue by my "I told you so's" and silence. Ugliness.... not graciousness.

To think about the punishment I actually deserve, and the mercy Christ extended by putting himself in my place on the cross - is overwhelming. But He didn't stop there! Now, in this life, I experience blessing upon blessing, even though I continue to sin! He graces me with a loving and providing husband, with adorable babies, with a church-fellowship, with beautiful sunshine and flowers, with good health, with a beautiful home to live in, with good food to put in our bellies, with the gift of knowledge and continuous learning... my God is truly a gracious God. 

Yes, I've received mercy and grace today.

Thank you Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Not just all the blessings of Earth but I think of the feast and the place He is preparing for us in Heaven; a place we can not imagine and do not deserve. His mercy found us and saved us at such great cost and His grace lavishes on us more than we can imagine as we look toward Eternity. How can we fail to love and trust such a gracious God!!