Merciful Grace: Why We Don’t Need to Strive For Perfection
She couldn’t bring herself to look at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. She was riddled with guilt, shame, and frustration. How could she make this same mistake over and over again? Weren’t things supposed to be easier once she became a Christian?
You may have asked yourself these same questions.
Perhaps you have continued to repeat actions or words that you know do not align with who God says you are.
May I encourage you, friend? Life will not automatically be easy, effortless, or stress-free when we ask Jesus to come into our lives. In fact, it is quite the opposite. But don’t lose heart because Jesus’ strength and power are made perfect in our weakness. And it is through this beautiful transaction that His merciful grace is revealed.
What is Mercy?
Mercy is a part of the foundation of God’s matchless love. It is rooted in the very character of who He is, and it is extended to us as a gift of undeserved favor. Mercy doesn’t come from our own power or strength but only through the perfect death, resurrection, and forgiveness of Christ.
Just as God freely pours out His mercy on us and our circumstances, as His daughters, we too are called to extend His mercy to those around us – including ourselves.
Mercy and Deeds
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13 NIV
As we are impacted by the overwhelming gifts of God’s grace and mercy, our lives should reflect His power at work in us (reflecting life).
By way of spiritual practices, such as meditating on scripture, prayer, tithing, and acts of worship, we are able to glean, apply, and connect with our perfect Father. Then, His spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22) and giftings (1 Corinthians 12) will be revealed in very tangible ways.
However, we must be careful not to focus on our spiritual acts more than His heart and the hearts of those He loves. If we are not careful, we can be quick to judge others instead of offering the same grace and mercy that we received from God.
It is not one or the other; mercy and deeds go hand in hand (James 2).
How God’s Grace Works in Our Lives
Jesus tells us in the Gospels that He didn’t call the righteous but the sinner. And who is the sinner? They are the outcasts by worldly standards, the oppressed and forgotten; they are you and me.
Jesus was very clear that He did not come for the righteous or those who pridefully think they are untouchable, holy, and better than others. He came to die a sinner’s death so that God’s grace would restore the sinner back to His heart.
To be righteous in the kingdom of heaven requires humility, and as we humble ourselves before Him, acknowledging our need for His strength in our times of weakness, we are transformed into His holiness.
Daughter, take heart; you don’t have to be a perfect Christian; you simply have to rely on His perfect merciful grace.
- What failed expectations did you have about becoming a Christian?
- Do you struggle with accomplishing deeds more than extending mercy? If so, how?
- Where have you experienced God’s merciful grace in your life?
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