I’m reading through the God’s Word translation of the Bible. I love it for its easier to understand wording and format.
There is one word in this version that makes me pause…
And that’s the use of “kindness” as a substitute for the word “grace.”
Although it’s true that kindness is a broader definition for the greek word, “χάρις” (charis) and the Hebrew word, “Kaná” both typically translated as grace.
But I wonder – Does thinking about God’s grace as simply extending kindness to us may not fall short of the truth our hearts need to know!
Kindness is Defined
Miriam Webster Dictionary – “the quality or state of being gentle and considerate.”
The Oxford Dictionary – “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”
The Urban Dictionary – “the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care.”
Grace is Defined
Miriam Webster Dictionary – “the unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.”
The Oxford Dictionary – “the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
You have probably heard this acrostic for GRACE – God’s riches at Christ’s expense.
My favorite definition for grace that is easy to remember is…
Grace – God giving us what we don’t deserve.
HELPS Word-Study says the following about grace – “Both [the Greek and Hebrew] refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.”
I believe there is an important difference between grace and kindness.
Grace comes with a price … one paid by the giver not the recipient.
I believe there is an important difference between the words grace and kindness.
Kindness is a caring gesture. It’s compassion. We’re: Kind to animals. Kind to those in need. Kind to strangers we meet on the street. I believe in kindness. I think it’s important.
Grace is harder.
Grace is personal and carries a personal price.
Grace is forgiveness even when it is extravagant and unwarranted. Grace is love when love has been rejected. Grace is sacrificial.
You and I miss an important truth if we think of God’s grace simply as His kindness. His grace cost Him everything. Grace was His response to our total rebellion and sin.
Grace is so much more than being nice or considerate. It is love in action. It is grace that heals our yesterdays, strengthens our today, and provides hope for tomorrow.
Grace is God punishing Jesus for our sin.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. Romans 3:23–25 (NLT)
Grace is God making us free.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. Ephesians 1:7 (MSG)
Grace is God changing us to become more like Jesus.
I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do. Ephesians 2:8,10 (ERV)
Grace changes everything.
Yes, I believe in the importance of kindness. Our kindness is one way the people around us can see God’s grace at work in us.
Then there are those opportunites we have to extend grace to others.
When we forgive without being asked and love when it’s not returned. When we give until it hurts and respond to rudeness and pride with compassion and humility.
Whew! I don’t know about you, but I can’t. Nope. I cannot show grace on my own. But Christ in me is grace and He has promised to give me everything I need to give grace to others.
With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all. Acts 4:33 (NIV)
Quotes from Christian teachers that bless me.
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” ~Anne Lammott
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” -John R. W. Stott
“Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart – poisoned as it is with pride and pain – and replacing it with His own.” ~Max Lucado
“We cannot “psychologize” the grace of God. God’s actions are outside and above our human sciences.” -John Powell
“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” – Saint Augustine of Hippo
“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” ~Martin Luther
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
May your day be filled with reminders of God’s amazing grace.
He loves you so much!
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