God’s Grace and The Power of Acceptance
July 31, 2020
Most of the pain in our lives comes from the actions of others wounding us, and our own wrong choices compound the pain. To heal, we must learn the difference between the two. But it’s not enough to stop there. We must take the next step and accept what these wrong actions have done to our lives. And I believe the only way to accept this difficult truth is by applying grace. We must accept God’s grace in our own lives and extend that grace to others.
If we were perfect people with perfect relationships, we wouldn’t need grace. Truth wouldn’t be difficult to accept, for it wouldn’t contain the wreckage of troubled lives. In a flawed world, however, to accept ourselves and others, grace is imperative.
I’ve heard grace defined as “unmerited favor.” If you don’t have to do anything to earn it, then you can receive it without paying for it. You receive something you did not earn or deserve. Often, we think something free doesn’t have much value. But in this case, the gift of grace extended to us from God is extremely valuable. The apostle Paul said, “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9 NRSV).
Like love and forgiveness, the concept of grace goes against our very nature. Grace is freely given, it cannot be earned, and it is extended to those who don’t deserve it. Although grace is hard to understand, God means for us to have it and experience it.
When we are staring at a huge problem or trauma blocking our path, God’s grace is the powerful force that pushes the obstacle out of the way. We aren’t powerful enough to do it, but God is. An acceptance of God’s grace allows us to put the past behind us.
But grace is much more than just erasing the past; it is about writing the future. That’s because when we are freed from the thicket of regret, blame, and shame, we can show grace to others in every situation. It’s the ultimate form of “paying it forward.” Only Jesus has already paid our tab.
The Trust Process
Is God asking us to “act” perfect, as if our wounds never happened? Certainly not. It’s about inviting him into the wound. As the Great Physician, he wants to apply his healing to your heart and mind. It is a process; sometimes it is instantaneous, and other times the healing takes much longer.
Spiritual acceptance is a trust process. When you do surrender your past, and give God your wounds, he will be faithful to join you in the journey of restoration. Along the way, his love will begin to replace the pain in your heart. So much so that you will have an excess, and that extra love will spill out of your life and into the lives of others.
Dr. Gregory Jantz is the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE in Edmonds, Washington, voted a Top Ten Center For Depression Treatment in the United States. Dr. Jantz pioneered Whole Person Care in the 1980’s and is a world-renowned expert on eating disorders, depression, anxiety, technology addiction, and abuse. He is a leading voice and innovator in Mental Health utilizing a variety of therapies including nutrition, sleep therapy, spiritual counseling, and advanced DBT techniques. Dr. Jantz is a best-selling author of 40 books and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN.
If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, PTSD, addiction, eating disorders, or other mental health challenges, call The Center at 888.771.5166 today.
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