Grace—God giving us what we don’t deserve. Mercy—God not giving us what we do deserve. For many years the grace of God and mercy of God seemed pretty much interchangeable to me. And though they are both united together in God’s heart of kindness and love towards us, they are two uniquely different gifts.
When I think of mercy, there is an image etched in my mind: me, bent over the toilet, purging my stomach and for a time shutting down my turbulent mind and emotions. For the majority of my twenties I was enslaved to both anorexia and bulimia. Over the years, I tried to break the destructive habit. However, many times my resolve would waiver and my mind would choose bondage over freedom. Complete healing and the ability to identify the triggers and solutions from God’s Word are, I believe, only truly attained as the Holy Spirit teaches and empowers us to relinquish all to Him.
The Holy Spirit continued to reveal why these actions were potentially deadly and harmful to my body, as His child. Through it all, God protected me and that was mercy. He patiently revealed layers of hurt, lies, and sinfulness that fueled my actions. It is easy as humans to harshly condemn a particular action, but it takes a merciful God willing to walk with us through it, while teaching us how to be free.
Just as Jesus Christ Himself knew the exact biblical truths to resist the temptations and lies Satan laid before Him in the wilderness, if saved, we have the Holy Spirit in us so that we too may know how to fight Satan, our adversary. The Holy Spirit is a constant reminder that God, in His mercy, is there for us and wants us to be victorious (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27).
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Romans 8:31-34
Once God shows us the way to victory, our yoke is light (Matthew 11:28-30)…simply believe what He has said and act accordingly. The Bible tells us to “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1 NLT)
About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to loving her amazing husband and raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.