What is grace, and how can I get some?

I don’t understand how forgiveness works. I mean, do people actually forgive? Or do they really just agree to not mention the infraction any more, and when bad feelings surface and resurface, just have an agreement to shove those feelings back down and not take action on them?

Where does grace fit in here? God’s grace. What is it? What does it mean? Is it real?

And, how is this related to anything I post in this blog? I think it may well be an underlying factor in my cycle of overeating.

To me, forgiveness is something like – “Ok, I won’t be mad anymore, don’t do it again and we’ll pretend it never happened.”

But unfortunately, the part about “don’t do it again” doesn’t last. Things get done again. In a slightly different way. Sometimes in almost exactly the same way. Then the “I won’t be mad anymore” part gets harder to say. Requires more emotional dampening. Requires more hardening of the heart to protect it from the next time.

I asked a friend if there were any good books about Grace and Forgiveness. I have one on my list. I also feel it is time for me to read the Bible again. Not just picking it up here and there to skim a verse or two in the hopes that something will jump out at me, but to read it with my heart questions in mind and just see what God has to say.

I think maybe Thin Again might be helpful. I have rejected it several times because I have believed that my eating issues can’t really be tied to my past. I wasn’t abused. I had a relatively “normal” childhood, I guess. Of course there really is no such thing as “normal” but I certainly haven’t grown up feeling “damaged” – so why go digging for something that isn’t there in the hopes that I find something to “blame” for my humanity.

So, maybe I need to re-title part of this blog “Seeking Grace”. I’ll try to write about what I find along the way. At the very least it will be interesting to see where I go…

8 thoughts on “What is grace, and how can I get some?

  1. Hey Lundie, never been to this blog before… but I read this first entry really quickly (as it is way past my bedtime…) and I just wanted to say something about forgiveness that I heard Tim S. (from our church) preach and has stuck with me since, and it goes something like this: Forgiveness is not something you do one time for one event, it is the conscious choice to repeat the act of forgiveness and trying to love ourselves/others as God does over and over again. So, i.e. I have people in my life that have hurt me (and I am sure I have hurt them too bc we all do it even if we do not mean to) and when I start to feel negatively towards them I really make an effort to remind myself that I am forgiving and loving them on a continual basis.

    Anyhow that’s my two cents and really after inflation is work .005.

    Good Night!

  2. Lundie,

    Two great books you might enjoy are “Scandalous Grace” and “Radical Forgiveness”. Both are by Christian author, Julie Ann Barnhill. I reviewed the first one on my blog. The second I just got from the library, but it looks to be just as good as the first book. ;o)

    The author is hilarious, but she shares some great truths. And, the first book is peppered with humorous tales of the author’s desire to lose weight. ;o)

  3. One more thing… I was really hesitant to read TA for just the same reasons as you. I really didn’t believe there was anything in my past to do with my eating. I believed my eating troubles began when I got pregnant with my son in 1997.

    As it turns out, though, my eating troubles may actually have begun much earlier, but just not shown themselves until that pregnancy! I had a “dysfunctional” home (step families and all that), and so there were *issues* there. But, I had no IDEA that they could somehow be tied into everything else!

    And, I don’t think I’m just “looking for something to blame”, either. I truly think that maybe there is stuff that relates that I just never saw before reading TA.

    Of course, you need to do what’s best for you. But, I just thought I’d share my story. ;o)

  4. 😉 I have already read Thin Again once – a few years ago. At the time I read it, I just kept saying, “This isn’t my problem.” I read it shortly after leaving Weigh Down and I guess I just wasn’t ready to consider other options.

    I read the intro and the first chapter last night and was so impressed that I am going to hold off on any further reading in Thin Within until I finish Thin Again.

    And thank you for sharing what you’ve experienced – if I (or someone else) can learn from them, it’s a wonderful thing!

  5. Hello Lundie,
    If I harden my heart against the sin committed against me, then I have not forgiven. I am just trying to protect myself. That is God’s job. (vengence is mine…&… how I longed to gather you under my wing…etc…) My job is keeping track, or not. When I stand in front of Jesus on judgement day, what will my response be when he asks me about “Joe” or “sue”? Will my unforgiveness be a mark against them? Do I really want THAT sin (those sins) to keep them from eternal life? (the same will of course be applied to me, if you don’t forgive you won’t be forgiven) But more important here is the ‘heart’ of the issue. “Love keeps no record of wrong.” Of course, if I know (remember) that this guy always beats me up when I am around him…I need to also remember no to go to his house – so I DO remember….but I don’t KEEP a record.

    God suffers violence against him (and his people) everyday. He tolerated such violence against him that he shed blook just preparing for it. And died because of it.

    We can (happily, trustingly) take part in that suffering (through other’s weaknesses, evilness, and imature mistakes) because He didn’t let that be the end of it. He rose from the dead with the INTENTION of letting THOSE people spend eternity with Him.

    He is very different than we are, of course, but the same power that allowed Him to look lovingly on those committing sin against Him (always and in all ways) is in you and me. As Shannon mentioned it really is a choice. (ugh) It is work and it takes practice…and I still stink at it.

    One thing that really helped me get over some BIG sins committed against ME was visualizing the face of that person. And imagining Jesus asking me…should I let him in or should I send him to Hell for eternal separation from Me? I couldn’t do that, Lundie, even though I was so angry! As I looked at his imaginary face, I forced myself to say “I love you” “I am determined to love you because of Christ” (I don’t go around him, cause that isn’t safe…so I love him from a distance)

    This is, as with all good things, a journey. I see in you a desire to please God, to live right….and that is the beginning of forgiveness, grace and love.

    Your friend,
    Beth

  6. PS. My apologies for not spell checking. I wasn’t wearing my glasses as I typed and it looked good, until I could really SEE. (my blind grandma used to type letters to me all the time and it was like dicephering code!) I also expected to have to ‘approve’ before posting. (Hey! Look! ANOTHER chance to forgive! YAY!)

    In that case…You are welcome,
    Beth

  7. Lundie,

    I hope this isn’t considered in poor taste, but I’ve written a couple of posts on forgiveness. This is an area that I really struggle with.

    Also, I’ve been struggling with weight as well. I don’t have any answers for you, but I can certainly empathize.

  8. Hi Lundie,
    I too have been struggling with this issue on mercy and Forgiveness. It isn’t like You want to stay mad or stay upset. I have had things (offences) happen over and Over and I realized that Forgiveness is one thing but Wisdom comes along side the Forgiveness and Says…..There is a time to BE CLEAR….and SET BOUNDARIES! If they are hurt or offended by You being Clear and Stating Your desires and Boundaries that is for them to take up with God! It really is Good to Know God can give us Grace and Wisdom just for the Asking! It Is Not His Plan for us to become a Doormat for others to continually wipe their feet On!
    A Great Book is “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud, As Well they do other….one i particular called “Boudaries Face to Face” I have been finding the examples in it so helpful in my Struggles! I truely want to get rid of those nasty feeling….I Need Gods help as I journey farther into learning more about forgiveness. I Know also as a Beloved Daughter that I am valuable and can choose to let things fester or get out the First Aid Kit and get the wound cleaned out! I am Worth it and So Are You….Princess of God!

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