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Amazing grace

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind, but now I see."
     —John Newton (1725 - 1807)

Grace is difficult to understand. Often it is compared to mercy, but grace is more than mercy. Grace is mercy with a gift on top of that. We are all in need of it but we don’t know what it looks like day to day.

The other day I was driving through Starbucks and I accidentally ordered a regular latte instead of a decaf. After I took a drink, I questioned the attendant if I had ordered a decaf latte. She said I didn’t but offered to make me a new one. I politely declined but she insisted, then told me to keep the drink I had for someone else. All this was communicated with a smile on her face, never correcting me, verbally or non-verbally (an eye-roll or annoyed sigh) for MY error.

When I offered to pay for the other drink, she responded with a smile and a comment with absurdity in her voice, “Of course not!” She handed me my second drink, smiled and told me to have a nice day. That is a beautiful picture of grace. Even though I made the error, I drove away with two drinks for the price of one, kindness, and fabulous service. That day, I received beautiful, amazing grace that inspired me to live with more grace for myself and others

What if we acted with more grace? We gave when we didn’t deserve it, loved when we deserved criticism, and gave when we deserved to be given too? What kind of marriage or family would we have? What kind of world would we have?


  • Recall a time you experienced grace and journal how that felt for you.
  • Resolve shame with yourself since this is the opposite of grace and blocks you from giving or receiving grace. (See Brene Brown's work on shame in The Art of Imperfection and her other published works.)
  • Experiencing grace increases the bonding hormone, oxytocin, allowing people to love instead of becoming protective or aggressive from hostility and fear, which produces adrenaline.
"God, grant me the wisdom when to show grace, and may I be looking for the gifts of grace all around me. May others feel grace when they encounter me."

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