The Gift of Grace

I am currently in a weekly Bible study with a group of women.  We did not know each other before starting the study and we are a somewhat diverse group in age, life experience, knowledge of the Bible, and background.   We read, discuss, and wrestle with the lessons God has for us each week.   The study includes daily reading and answering questions.  There is always a question or two for self reflection: how can what Christ says be applied to your life?  What area in your life does the lesson move you to work on?   How does the weekly lesson challenge your commitment to Christ and what He values?

 My first reaction to many of the questions is to deny.  I’m fine.  FINE.  I am not struggling or in need of work in whatever the lesson is (humility, maybe?).  I see no challenge because I am a committed Christian and what Christ values is what I value! 

However,  I know this is not always true, of course it isn’t. 

Deep self reflection can be hard when I know I will fall short, and truthfully, I always fall short.  Admitting there is weakness and being specific about it in those reflective questions takes honesty, transparency, and vulnerability with myself and with God. It doesn’t feel good to admit to shortcomings, however, it is freeing to know that as I acknowledge my faults I am given grace.  I am given grace by God, I have been shown grace by the women in the study, and I am learning to extend grace to those different from me.  

The fellowship of this Bible study allows me to admit the work I need to do, it gives me the support to start to do it and fortifies me with the prayers needed to continue.  What a gift from God!

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.   Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Becky Burns