For years I had a lot of theology about grace; formulas and head knowledge. But in the end, I truly learned grace by living it. By receiving it. And by meeting it in Person. So here is an overflow from that place of experience.

Grace is messy.

This is especially hard for someone like me who enjoys things to be .. well, tidy. Compartmentalized. I like to sort things mentally and make sense of them. Grace often just does not make sense. And walking it out, in real life with real complicated people, does not fit into a formula. It involves going back again and again to an amazing God to figure out the new path forward and creative solutions.

Grace is free.

A gift can be no other way. We receive it freely, we give it freely. We can not attach price tags to it, for us or for others- or it is simply no gift at all. The price Jesus already paid was completely and totally sufficient, once and for all. Do not cheapen it by tacking on a tax at the end to satisfy your own need for justice. God has that realm covered, and He was fully satisfied with the price paid at the cross.

Grace is not self-centered.

Although it is the best thing you could possibly do for yourself, it will not seem like it at first. And asking repeated questions about what it will get you, and how it will all work out, does not help. In the end, living and breathing grace will transform you, others, and even the situation itself at times. But you won’t get to see exactly how before you begin – you just gotta jump in the pool.

Grace is active. 

I used to think of it as a feeling; but the feeling is actually just a byproduct. It is always first a choice, regardless of how you feel about it. I ask myself this, simply (again and again, after a hurt or offense or residual pain): Do I believe God? Do I trust Him? And because I do, I choose His way of grace. Sometimes the feelings follow the choice, but either way – my next step is always action. Sometimes its verbal, but often its resisting the ever-present gut temptation to flee or fight, and instead I step toward. I pray for them, or I secretly bless them, or give or encourage. Again, by will. And almost always, after this final stage – my internal world begins to align with the external.

Grace is a command.

Jesus did not beat around the bush here. There are only two places you can choose to live: the justice realm, or the grace realm. There’s no middle ground, and there’s no such thing as one foot in each. What you choose for others you also choose for yourself. We either choose the law and hold ourselves and everyone else to its impossible standards; or we choose the accept the free gift and covering of Jesus, operating out of grace toward ourselves and with everyone we meet.

Grace is a process.

Although there are pivotal choices and moments, for the deepest pains of life it is still very much a process. A bumpy one at that. Sometimes three steps forward, two back. Sometimes stilted for awhile and then surging forward again. But God knows this process well, and it fanatically committed to your success.

Grace is unfair. 

As in really, really unfair. Nothing fair about it. It actually has nothing to do with evening the scales – it is about completely overturning the system and introducing a whole new way to live. It is no longer about trying to follow rules; it is now entirely about relationship. About direct, constant access to the most amazing, powerful, creative Person you will ever meet. Searching for fairness keeps our eyes inward and downward and unable to enjoy all the freedom and life that Grace has made possible.

Grace is powerful.

When something has been done to us, or by us; not only has the enemy injured us, but he is also trying to get us to stay in that place of pain. The way he does this is through unforgiveness – which leaves him access and opening to us. On the flip side, forgiveness releases authentic kingdom power – power that not only frees but heals. I have many times seen people even physically healed as they choose to forgive.


Choose this day to walk in the powerful, untouchable, love-filled, joy-filled realm of grace. It is worth the cost of releasing your pain, and the consequences of it, to Him. He is utterly trustworthy, and the only true Judge. He knows, and He sees – and is always working on the most amazing redemptive plans you can imagine. But in order to see them begin to take shape, you must first let that pain and loss be buried at the cross. John and Carol Arnott have a short, very powerful book on this called ‘Grace & Forgiveness’. This is the way they suggest you pray through grace, and I have found it powerful time and time again in my own life. Try it for yourself.

I forgive you.

I release you.

I bless you.

You owe me nothing.