Unmerited Favor:  Receiving What We Don't Deserve


Brittany Hall

Ashland Beacon

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“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

            Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you were wrong, you admitted to yourself and maybe others, your mistake and waited to receive the consequences? But received the opposite instead? That’s grace! We know it was Unmerited Favor - receiving what we don’t deserve. The parallel to that? Mercy. Mercy is not receiving what we do deserve. Both are gifts that we receive and are to give to others.

            Now, we all have been involved in a circumstance where someone has crossed us, wronged us, cheated and lied to us and maybe worse. How we handle that says a lot about our character, not the other person. What was the reaction? What was the response? They are two different things and should be considered carefully. As a Christian, it’s in these times that we can ruin our witness, which is something that we should be very protective of.

            This is a weighted moment because we can run the risk of making the situation worse, or we can diffuse the situation and come to a common ground and resolution. Even taking away Biblical influence, this is a life lesson that everyone can learn from. To put it simply - our words, reaction, and response matter. They matter and can make all the difference to the world around you, however big or small that might be. And maybe, even make a difference in us.

            As a follower of Christ, we receive grace upon conversion through salvation. Salvation is granted because of a living sacrifice. The need for salvation is caused by sin, the human nature that is in us at birth, even in our temporary innocence. As we live our life, we all make mistakes, we say or do the wrong thing - that’s sin, and we have to have redemption for that in order to enter into Heaven. It’s a gift. Salvation, grace, mercy, forgiveness - they’re all divine gifts.

            Shelby Morrison, who is a native of Boyd County, had this to say when asked about grace: “We often have a misrepresentation of grace. We cannot give grace [as God gives grace]. However, we can love one another as Christ has loved us, and with that love comes all the good and fuzzy feels, but that also comes with correction. Sometimes showing grace or truly loving one another looks like calling sin what it is - sin. It looks like calling our brothers and sisters to repentance.” If we aren’t looking out for one another, the lost and saved, we’ve missed the point. The Bible says that “iron sharpens iron”, which means that we are to hold one another accountable and be there for one another when the other falls.

          Morrison went on to explain, “Jesus gave us an example of this several times in scripture. He loved everyone, sure, but He also never taught without calling out sin or calling people to repentance. Lest we forget, the FIRST example of grace in the Bible was God kicking Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, because He knew that if they stayed there they wouldn’t die, but live in their sin forever.” To show grace is to show love. To show mercy is to show love. To receive grace is to receive Love. To receive mercy is to receive Love.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” Hebrews 4:16

          Grace isn’t a pass to act as though we haven’t been changed. It’s part of the blanket we’re wrapped in when we ask for forgiveness. Being loved gracefully can heal us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Redemption through grace is a rewashing of our soul, creating a clean slate of our record. So be encouraged by this, and allow yourself to show grace as love because you also received grace through love. The impact that it can have on your life, as well as another person, is extraordinary - even when seemingly undeserved. It’s a life change to both give and to receive. It’s an elevation of spirit that the world needs a little more of.

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