Grace is Not an Enabler

I visited the tropical destination of Curacao back in August. It was a work trip. I promise. It was also my 29th birthday. I’ll ALWAYS remember it as one of the best trips of my life. Quite the opportunity.


Oh glorious day.

Besides the fact that it made me realize how desperately I need to learn other languages, how desperately I needed a tan, and how desperately I need to go back, I learned a lesson about grace.

On the morning of my birthday, that Sunday, I turned on the television to hear an American pastor speaking to his congregation about grace. I can’t remember the name of the pastor or the church, it didn’t necessarily feel “televangelisty”, it felt like a sermon that I needed to hear. The only thought I remember from the 10 minutes I spent on the channel was this – “Grace is not an enabler.” And it’s stayed with me ever since.

The power of that simple statement resonates in so many areas of life. Personally, just because I am covered in grace every single moment of every single day, it does not mean that I can take advantage of that gift. It means that I need to be more aware of that grace shown to me and show grace towards others no matter the situation. And again, easier said than done. In showing grace, a person should receive it in return. Not always the case.

This leads me to my next part, something that I’ve been cautiously aware of a lot lately. When grace is shown to you, it doesn’t mean you can just keep doing the thing that caused that person to show the grace to you in the first place, over and over. (Was that as jumbled as it sounds? Did that even make sense?) Doing so abuses their goodness and understanding towards you. In my own life, this applies to my tardiness, my sarcasm, my bluntness/lack of tact, my opinionated self, and my own lack of compassion at times, to name a few. So often, people show grace to me and I tend to abuse the privilege. Then, when others do the same to me, I get so upset that they would even think of taking advantage of my “kindness”.

In all reality, it’s a two-way street among us humans, but with God, it’s just one way. (I feel like that was a VBS or FCA theme back in the day. Ha! Yes, “One Way 2 Play!” FCA theme for sure.)

His grace is sufficient. He doesn’t need us to show any back to him, and we don’t have to earn it every moment of every day. There isn’t some gauge that has to be filled up with our good behavior every day in order to be shown grace. (No Grace-O-Meter, although I do feel like that would be something at a Christian Trade Show.) What we must do is accept grace as a gift and understand it comes out of love from the Father and that it came with the greatest sacrifice. Showing that same grace towards others is the tough part. Can anyone else relate?

I’ll leave you with this image to help you reflect…who’d like to join me on the next adventure to Curacao? Any takers?

Yes, The Bachelorette was here. I was not the said Bachelorette.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emily
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 07:02:26

    Jourdan, love it. Check out this video clip a guy showed at a conference at our church this weekend. It’s a scene from “Les Miserables” about grace:


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