A short definition of grace is hard to find. “Unmerited favor” is the classic one, but “favor” sounds old-fashioned. “Undeserved love” is another try, but then, what love is really deserved? The minute “deserving” comes into it, the romance and emotion, all the feeling, melt away. A jawbreaker definition of grace is the old acronym that defines grace as “God’s Redemption At Christ’s Expense.” Don’t expect to get too far when you use that one!
What is grace? Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable. It is being loved when you are the opposite of loveable. The cliché definition of grace is “unconditional love.” It is a true cliché, for it is a description of the thing. It just sounds a little 1970s (as in “Have a Nice Day!”). Yet the words are apt.
Let’s go a little further. Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that is has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts” (whatever they may be). It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold.
In 1965, Joe Meek produced a would-be pop single that was sung by Bobby Rio and the Revelles and was entitled “Value for Love.” It was a great tune, but, like almost everything Joe Meek produced, it ...
Please log in or subscribe to continue reading
Christianity Today subscribers can log in below for full access. Not a subscriber? Subscribe and get complete access to The Behemoth and Christianity Today.
- Editors’ Note
- A Mysterious (and Beautiful) Tapestry
How Ecosystems help us recall the inner life of the Trinity /
- God’s Glory in Wood and Stone
Twenty amazing facts behind that great architectural wonder, the medieval cathedral. /
- Properly Educated for Eternity
It begins in the hard and now. /
- Wonder on the Web
Links to amazing stuff
Unlock This Article for a Friend
To unlock this article for your friends, use any of the social share buttons on our site, or simply copy the link below.