“…For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;” Hebrews 13:9 (KJV)
Grace is commonly defined as “unmerited favor.” We think of grace as an attribute God bestows upon us, when we are so less deserving of possessing it. So, that would most likely mean that grace is something given to us, right?
But, in this passage, the grace that is being spoken of, isn’t in the passive voice anymore. This kind of grace, which now resides in our hearts, is an active and recognizable expression. Once we’ve received the grace that God abundantly provides, we need to make sure it’s something which others see in us daily. It certainly pleases God–for He says, “it is a good thing.”
I find it troubling that, at times, we, as Christians, fail to remember that the grace we have been given was unconditional, not based upon anything we did or said to earn it. In the flesh, we tend to “measure up” the individuals who have offended us and fail to exhibit grace. We might say we aren’t hurt by another’s words or actions, but our responses soon betray us. Bitterness and resentment can settle into place, limiting our service and usefulness to God. Our hearts turn cold and selective, not allowing the “establishment of grace” to be freely available to all. It certainly contradicts the character of Christ.
Is there someone you need to ask forgiveness of, knowing your behavior has been ungracious, possibly condemning? Is your grace partial or plentiful? Pray that God will help you maintain a heart which contains pure motives and kind deeds. And then, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be on display!