I think it is safe to say that we have all at some time received grace. Grace is unmerited favor. It means receiving something undeservedly. Simply speaking, this may mean receiving mercy in a trial or blessing in hard times. I find that generosity is a good descriptor of grace because out of the goodness and kindness of heart grace overflows. Often times one of the hardest things for a person to do is to receive grace. We would much rather work for the favor, than have to owe someone. But, this isn’t grace because grace gives freely with no strings attached. This is real grace. I mean that’s what I gather from reading the Bible, God gives generously and freely (no strings) out of the goodness and kindness of His heart. Do you believe this?
I’ve often heard grace described in terms of degrees. But, the more I experience God’s grace, the more I’m confronted with the inadequacy of this description. I believe a more robust image is needed in order to really capture the magnitude of God’s grace. We are all in need of grace, so rather than speaking in terms of degrees I’d like to propose facets, like a diamond. The amazing thing about God’s grace is it’s vastness, but also it’s particularity to each person. So rather than think in terms of more or less grace (degrees), it makes better sense to describe God’s grace in terms of differing facets. Because Sin manifests itself in differing ways in people’s lives, so differing facets of God’s grace will be needed. It’s not that a person needs more or less of God’s grace, but rather each person needs a unique combination of the many differing facets of the whole of God’s grace.
Now what has sparked this whole theological musing is the desire to level the playing field (so to speak). I mean Scripture says that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV), but I can’t tell you how often I hear people compare themselves to others in terms of grace: “that person needs more grace than I do” or “I don’t need as much grace as they do.” But, I believe this kind of thinking often comes from a place of self-righteousness, I mean isn’t that the way the Pharisees saw it? This way of thinking can begin to both directly and indirectly form an unspoken hierarchy amongst the people of God. Again, it’s not that we need differing degrees of God’s grace, but rather that we are in need of differing facets of the whole of God’s grace. Maybe to some this may seem like semantics, but my heart behind all of this is to bring greater love and unity to the people of God where we truly begin to see that we are all in this together and that from Heaven’s perspective we are all in equal need of God’s diamond of grace resting in and on our lives.