In Christian terms, Grace is defined as "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings."

I think we are a culture that has a really hard time with GRACE—myself included. We want to make-up rules and pretend like God’s love is conditional. After all, "free anything" (without earning it) does not seem fair; we value the ability to “earn things” in America. We earn money, we earn good grades, we earn respect, and we earn a fit body at the gym. The very act of “earning” makes us feel “more deserving,” so that we can reap the benefits of our reward with a clear conscience.

I don’t think this mindset is bad. In fact, I think that this way of thinking has noble intentions (to avoid entitlement). However, when it comes to GRACE, we have to switch gears and “accept it”—not earn it. It is so hard to wrap my head around this, but we literally can NOT earn God’s Grace. His LOVE is freely given—and there is enough LOVE and LIGHT for everyone!

Just like fire, Grace is NOT a limited resource. I am always reminded of this metaphor when we sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve at my church in Houston. Everyone in our church receives a candle, and my Pastor (Pastor Chris) starts with one candle, and lights the candle next to him. One by one, we share the candle-light with our neighbor, lighting their candle (and passing it down) until everyone in the church is holding a lit candle.

I think God’s Grace works the same way. While He is the original light, he is constantly offering his light to us (every single day) and it is up to us if we want to accept it, and most importantly— it is up to us if we want to pass it on. Just as God doesn’t make us earn his light, we too are supposed to share our light (freely) with others.

This metaphor of sharing candle-light was a HUGE AH-HAH moment for me, because before I understood that I could accept God’s love and pass it on (as opposed to earn his love) I was terrified of failure and struggling with perfectionism (I was too worried about the hot wax and my hairspray catching fire, to accept his light). But I now know that I don’t have to earn GRACE.

Grace is free, and because of this, we must never forget that we too are “free” . . .  we are free to live a bold, beautiful, and ambitious life, and even on the days when we are messy and complicated—we are loved anyway!


Here are 3 ways to shift your thoughts on grace...

1. Notice Shame: When you make a mistake— forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself up over blowing your diet, missing a meeting, or forgetting about a soccer practice—life happens, and you are human, loved, and imperfect. You give other people breaks, so give yourself a break. Forgive yourself!
2. Take a moment of gratitude: Gratitude is a practice, you have to consciously do it daily—look at your dog quietly sleeping by the window, and embrace that moment ( love-in and love-on that moment, just as God does). Notice your child eating dinner, and savor the way her mouth resembles yours as she chews. Notice the wind in your hair on a summer walk, and take comfort in the fact that you are able to move freely in the world—through the wind. Find meaning and gratitude in the small mundane moments—because God is always finding meaning and gratitude in YOU.
3. Stop judging yourself! You will always judge others if you judge yourself. Every-time you judge yourself, you are acting as thought GRACE is earned—so knock it off, and stop! When you notice negative self-talk, or when you experience “shame” on the morning scale after being up 3 pounds, don’t attach a “good” or “bad” label to the situation, just notice "what is” without judgement, and choose LOVE—because that’s what God does everyday when he looks at YOU!





Blog Post Author
Ericka Graham 

Theology Lover +  Founder of Project 88 

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  • Ericka Graham

    Thank you Christine, Judy, and Mike! This is my first official blog post, and I appreciate your kind feedback! Much Love! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Christine

    Thank you so much for the reminder of what Gods grace is and means. Thanks for the tips as well. I tend to judge myself more often than not. I need to stop and love myself where I am, as a child of God. God bless you!

  • Judy RUdsinski

    So well said. You have the gift to get the message out so elegantly. Thank you for the reminder of how much God loves me and freely gives me His Grace. We have a awesome God.

  • MIke Friedel

    Amen Ericka. Very well written. Thank you.