Why I Hate Grace

I smiled as I washed my hands and saw a small child’s scribbles on the church bulletin sitting on the bathroom counter.

It said:

Dada loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves Gracie.”

I’m sure that little one just wrote those words to keep herself entertained in adult church.

But God left them on the counter to remind me of His love for me.

When I read those words from my Heavenly Father, I read:

Dada loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves grace.”

My middle name means “grace.”

Not only does He loves me–I write about that all the time.

He loves grace.

I don’t love grace.

Not in the “I don’t love myself” kind of way but in the “I don’t love getting something I don’t deserve” definition of grace.

encountering the Father together

I don’t love to need grace.

I want to be perfect so I don’t need grace.

I want to get things right the first time.

I want my work to be well done, well received, and well appreciated.

I want to receive praise because my contribute was well valued not grace because it wasn’t enough.

I want to be enough.

Grace vs. Mercy

Let’s say you’re a kid and your mom just spent all day cleaning the house.

It’s perfect. It’s pristine. It’s spotless.

Then you come running in.

(Insert screeching halt noise here).

You’ve been outside swimming in the pool, rolling through the grass, and climbing trees.

What happened to Mom’s clean house?

You just left tire tracks across every square inch you touched.

Mercy is her not getting mad.

Yeah, right. Like that’d ever happen.

Grace is her handing you a fresh plate of chocolate chip cookies and saying “I love you.”

That’d be a surprise, wouldn’t it?

Mercy is not getting something you do deserve–an angry mom.

Grace is getting something you don’t deserve–cookies.

Neither of them are fun to need.

But both are delightful to receive.

Here’s the thing:

the Father loves grace.

He loves showering us with things we don’t deserve.

He loves being able to not give us the punishment we do deserve.

He invites us to save the sweetness of grace the same way we enjoy fresh chocolate chip cookies.

He loves reminding us how much He loves us even though we’re broken, even though we’re not perfect, even though we believe we’re not enough.

I hate that all of those things are true.

But I love that He enjoys teaching me again and again how loved I am simply because I’m His.

The matter of my worth was settled on His cross–not on how well I perform, how clearly I hear from Him, or how little grace I need.

I need all the grace I can get.

I am thankful for grace.

Because it’s only through grace that I am enough.

It’s through grace that I can dream–knowing He’s already proud of me.

It’s through grace that I can step forward not in fear of failure but in excitement of “Let’s try this.”

It’s through grace that I can walk in freedom.

Sometimes (ok, all the time) He has more grace for me than I have for myself.

When’s a time someone showed you grace you hated to need? Share in the comments.