I love giving gifts. I’ve heard it said, “Give a gift you’d love to receive.” Finding just the right gift for someone brings me great joy – especially when it is unexpected and “just because.” (And I know it’s a stellar gift when I buy two… one for the recipient I have in mind, and one for me also because i love it so much!)

Receiving gifts is also a natural delight. In my life I’ve discovered that the greatest gift is grace.

When I was a kid, mercy was what I often wanted… NOT getting what I did deserve. “Oh, I hope I don’t get a spanking for doing that!” was a thought that crept through my mind while waiting for expected discipline after a naughty deed.

But grace, I’ve found in my adult life, is my gift of choice to receive. Grace is getting what I don’t deserve.

When I am embraced in love, forgiveness, and care when I actually deserve just the opposite because of my behavior or attitude, that is the ultimate gift a person can give me. It takes a selfless, loving, secure, and confident person to give grace instead of what our world says should be dished out.

When I know that a great gift to give is one that I also want, and I know how much I value the gift of grace, I can’t help but consider: How effective am I at giving the gift of grace? How ready and willing am I to dole out grace in the form of love, forgiveness, and acceptance to others when my human nature says that’s not what they deserve?

Believing that the person and behavior to model my life after is Jesus Christ, His amazing gift of grace to me stops me short in my tracks. How valuable to consider how I can tip the scale in favor of giving the gift of grace to others more often than the natural response of judgment.