It has amazed me recently to realize how easily we miss the grace given to us.
We don’t see, hear, feel, or even know that we’re being shown favor, acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, or kindness. We don’t realize that someone is being gracious to us because he (she) doesn’t broadcast it. He (she) just quietly covers our mistakes, fixes our errors, and fills in our inadequacies without us even knowing. And even though we don’t realize it is happening, we’re being shown grace. It’s a selfless and quiet grace that cares more about showing love than looking right or good. It’s grace that doesn’t boast or brag or puff itself up. It’s the peace of making a difference, no matter who sees or knows.
It’s the same grace God gives us every day, all day. It starts with you waking up. If you opened your eyes this morning, that’s grace. If you got out of bed, that’s grace. If you made it to work safely, that’s grace. All those instances where we take the simple things for granted. God’s simple grace.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a talks about the qualities of God’s agape (unfailing) love: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
This is grace. This is how quiet grace walks, talks, thinks, and acts. It’s God’s grace, or charis, lived out in real life. It’s His charis, the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in our lives.
So then what is quiet grace? Let’s reflect back on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. If we realize that love gives grace, then: 4 GRACE is patient, GRACE is kind. GRACE does not envy, GRACE does not boast, GRACE is not proud. 5 GRACE does not dishonor others, GRACE is not self-seeking, GRACE is not easily angered, GRACE keeps no record of wrongs. 6 GRACE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 GRACE always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 GRACE never fails.
Quiet grace cares more about the other person than being loud or right or justified. Quiet grace is selfless and patient and forgiving in its application. Quiet grace seeks truth, but only if it does not cost someone his (her) dignity, integrity, or courage. Quite grace is about loving people fully and completely, usually without their knowledge or acknowledgement. Quiet grace never fails to show God’s love and goodness.
So how do we walk in quiet grace? John 15:4-5 gives us the answer – spend time with God: 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
By spending time with God, we desire to become more like Him. We become shaped by His unconditional love, so we begin to reach out to a lost and broken world desperately in need of the light of His love. Our hearts become transformed from selfish and self-centered to Christ-centered, where we want to reflect the fruit of God’s Spirit in our behavior (Galatians 5 – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law).
And His fruit is about quiet grace. It’s about living life to help people. It’s about accepting people where they are, no matter how deep the pit or how dark the sin. It’s about loving people in the fullness of who they are, no matter how lost or broken. It’s about helping people see the poetic masterpiece God has uniquely and creatively created them to be as they walk in His purpose for their lives. It’s about being grounded in His love and peace, knowing that He is more than able to do miracles and work good out of every situation for our good and His glory.
So who can you show grace to today? Can you do it without the trumpets and announcements so that God can be glorified?
And then take a moment to reflect on all the things that went right for you today. Take a moment to thank God for His quiet grace in the moments of your ordinary life. If no one else seems to be, God is showing you quiet grace throughout your day. Pause and praise Him for it.
So be a person full of quiet grace. And in being quiet, you will speak volumes about the awesome love of God.
Marie Fremin. 6/16 and 6/18/15