Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


Grace. Isn’t that the thing you say before you eat a meal?

Grace. Isn’t she your Great Aunt that died 20 years ago?

Grace. Isn’t that the word we use to describe ice skaters or ballerinas?

What is grace?

What is grace?

I always heard as a kid that grace was an acronym for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. And anytime some other kid gave this answer in Sunday school, they were applauded by the grown-ups as if this were the best definition of grace ever invented. I remember sitting there dazed and confused every time someone used this acronym to describe grace. I still am.

Is grace really about God’s riches? Does grace benefit God in some way? I must admit, this thought continues to puzzle me.

What is grace?

The best definition of grace I’ve ever heard is simply this: getting something we don’t deserve. (FYI…similarly, the best definition of mercy I’ve ever heard is simply this: not getting something we do deserve.)

Grace is:

  • Unearned favor
  • Something that cannot be merited or purchased
  • Being blessed by something of incredible value, although nothing of value was given in exchange
  • A huge debt being paid in full with no questions asked
  • Unconditional love with no strings attached
  • A gift…one received…one given

What is grace?

Anne Lamott once said, “I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” Admittedly, I’m not an Anne Lamott fan per se, but I love this thought about grace.

You see, grace, fully formed and fully extended, should blow us away. When we truly understand grace, it should move us. When we stop to reflect on the abundance of grace given to us, it should touch us. Grace has the capacity to transform us from the inside out. Grace meets us in the mire, grabs hold of us, and gently cleanses us by the sheer tug of its wooing, loving hand.

That’s why the song says grace is amazing. That’s why the song calls it sweet. It is grace that enabled a wretched person like me to be saved from an eternity apart from God that I so deserve. It is grace that really does relieve our fears. It is grace that mysteriously, yet tenderly brings us through dangers, toils, and snares. It is by grace, and grace alone, that God made it possible to have a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Not only are we privileged to be called children of God, but we get to spend an eternity with Him if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. We didn’t earn that. We didn’t work to receive it. We didn’t have to be nice enough, rich enough, good enough, smart enough, popular enough, or strong enough. Grace just happens.

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

What is grace?

It is the extravagant gift of God. It is what you and I have been lavished with. Now…out of what we have been given in abundance, find a way to go give a little grace to those you encounter today.


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4 thoughts on “WHAT IS GRACE?

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