Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Displaying the gift of grace

“For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NRSV)

A long time ago, my young son found a diamond ring on a beach. It was an expensive ring, but it was very dirty and caked with sand. I imagined a woman wearing the ring to the beach, taking it off so that she could apply sun tan lotion, and then forgetting to put the ring on. I imagined that when she missed the ring, she came back to the beach to look for it, but never found it. I imagined her tears when she realized she would never find it.

I thought of my imagined story when I read the scripture above. Everything we have comes from God—all of our material wealth as well as our spiritual health. For example, I often attribute my beautiful wedding band to my husband’s love for me and to his salary that allowed him to purchase the ring for me. The truth is that the ring came from God on many more levels than it did from my husband. My husband’s salary afforded the ring, but it is by God’s grace that my husband has his job. The love that my husband has for me is, at its core, from God. The gold in the ring was created by God, and the talent to form the gold came from God! I could go on and on. Everything, material and spiritual, is given to us by God in a magnificent and divine order. The most wonderful gift that God gives us is grace. It is more beautiful and valuable than the ring on the beach, or my wedding band, and—this is the most wonderful part of the gift—it can never be lost. It will always be there when we look for it. We should proudly display the gift of grace in the same way we display our treasured earthly gifts so that others can see its beauty and worth in us.