In Western Christian theology, grace has been defined, not as a created substance of any kind, but as “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it”, “the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race”. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - “generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved” - that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.. Webster Dictionary
To really understand and have compassion and forgiveness for others, especially when they have wronged you.
Recently I had a revealing conversation with my mother, where she admitted that she chose not to be close with me as I grew older, so she wouldn’t have her heart broken…. That might be devastating to some, but for me it was relief, years of “trying” to have a real relationship with her was not on my shoulders, she had made a choice that wasn’t in my ability to change! It would take much longer than a blog post to explain my fractured, abusive childhood, it is enough to say that neither of my parents were trustworthy or offered the usual security children should find in their parents. It is also important that you know they don’t follow Christ.
For many years I focused on the painful negative memories, forgiveness was a slow, arduous process. A few years ago, I asked God to show me the “good” moments from my childhood, to help me remember simple acts of love that even unloving parents gave. God was more than faithful, HE also revealed to me truths from my parent’s childhoods that made them who they are . How could they be any different, without a relationship with Christ?! I began the difficult and necessary work of deep “real” forgiveness. The kind of forgiveness that “frees” you in all of your relationships. I began to see my parents as the wounded children, full of bitterness and un-forgiveness that they still are. When you are unable to have Grace for others you stay trapped in the ugly past, unable to move forward and have healthy relationships. It effects every area of your life!
Even though I don’t have the relationship that I desire with my parents, and they have never apologized , I have Grace for them, which allows me to love them in spite of the wounds they caused. It also gives me compassion on a deeper level and has freed me from the guilt and shame that I carried for so many years, praise God!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast”