My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (TPT)
“My life is a witness to vulgar grace – a grace that amazes as it offends. A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten til five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck towards the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request- “Please, remember me”- and assures him, “You bet!” A grace that is the pleasure of the Father, fleshed out in the carpenter Messiah, Jesus Christ, who left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mine. This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It’s not cheap. It’s free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough.” Brennan Manning, “All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir.“
Perhaps the reason why we have such a hard time giving grace is that we’re not very good at receiving it ourselves. Paul was praying about a continual problem he faced – his “thorn in his flesh.” In a letter to his friends at Corinth, he wrote that God answered his prayer and said: “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.”
He went on to say:
“So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak, I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.” (2 Cor 12:9-10 TPT).
If grace is enough, why do we strive? Why do we try to pay back the gift? Why do we continue to live and say, “I’m not worthy!” when Jesus life and death and resurrection shows us that it was never a matter of whether or not we are worthy, but whether or not we will receive what he freely gives.
When we begin to allow ourselves to receive grace, forgiveness, mercy… when we accept them vulnerably and humbly into our lives and hearts, we'll find the giving of it to be an overflow of what we've been given. The humility in being forgiven and receiving graces empowers us to extend it to others.
After all, grace, at its heart, is subversive. It seeks to undermine the dominant paradigm of oppression and control, scarcity and dualism, and says that it is enough, you are enough, God is enough. We all are.
Do you struggle with the idea of ‘being enough?' Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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