“The Ugly Side of Grace” – Gent Dunlap II (#TidbitQuote #BiblicalInspiration)

My dad and I were catching up with how other family members were doing. Some were doing well; some not so well.

Ugly Side.Sad Face

People go through a wide range of emotions and if those feelings aren’t controlled it can lead to anger, frustration, resentment, bad behavior (using drugs, drinking alcohol, cheating on a spouse, etc.). My dad called that “the ugly side of grace.” I told him I was going to quote him and write an article about it, because we’ve all been there.

I’ve heard the saying, “Mercy is God NOT giving you what you deserve and grace is God giving you what you DON’T deserve.”

 Ugly Side.Mercy

What does the Bible say about mercy? Lamentations 3:22 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”

Psalm 136 is a great passage to see what mercy did: made the sun and moon to give us light; conquered Egypt so the Israelites could be free; allowed the Israelites to pass through the middle of the Red Sea; led them through the wilderness and into safety from kings; and, remembered that the Israelites were in need and gave them food. Do you really think the Israelites deserved all those things after disobeying God? Mercy gave them what they did NOT deserve.

Ugly Side.Testaments 

You may be thinking, ‘Okay, that’s the Old Testament.’ So, let’s see what the New Testament say about mercy? Matthew 17:15 “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: …” This man is asking for favor. He’s asking the Lord to help his son; to do something good for his son.

Ephesians 2:4 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,…”

I Timothy 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, …”

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;…”

In the New Testament we see that mercy is God helping us and our loved ones; loving us; being patient with us; and, washing and renewing us in the Holy Spirit. Do you really think we deserve these things?

 Ugly Side.Grace

Let’s move on to grace. What does the Old and New Testament say grace is? Exodus 33:17 “And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou has found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” Exodus 33:17 sums up grace in a nutshell. God doesn’t have to do anything, but He did something for Moses simply because Moses asked Him. Moses didn’t earn a gift from God, he didn’t earn a special privilege. But, God blessed Moses anyway. God gave Moses something.

Romans 5:15 “But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift of grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” We see again that God is giving us something that we didn’t earn. God gives us the gift of grace; He gives us goodness.

Back to the statement, “Mercy is God NOT giving you what you deserve and grace is God giving you what you DON’T deserve.” We’ve read that God helps us and our families (mercy) and also blesses us (grace). So, what is this “ugly side of grace” that my dad spoke of?

 Ugly Side.Sin

“The ugly side of grace” is doing unspeakable things, sinful things, in spite of the goodness that God gives us. It’s sort of like being rewarded after we’ve done something bad, which some people actually look forward to by way of excuses for their bad behaviors and attitudes. “The ugly side of grace” is taking God’s gifts for granted and believing that it’s our own goodness that saves us or makes us worthy of His blessings. Christ died to give us eternal life with Him in glory and for us to have abundant life here (John 10:10; Romans 5:17). Salvation is a gift – not something we earned. Let’s not dwell on “the ugly side of grace.” Be the one who says, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21).

(All scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible)

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I journeyed from GED to PhD with a host of experiences in-between. I'm a lover of penning my thoughts whether as poetry, prose, short stories, essays, inspirational articles, reviews, journal entries, and more.

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