To the Greeks, the word, charis (grace), was a beautiful precious word. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, says of the word, grace, “the whole stress lays on this very point, that it is conferred freely, with no expectation of return, finding its only motive the bounty and free-heartedness of the giver.” Grace to the Greek was an act that is beyond the ordinary course of what might be expected. Grace was a gift given from the heart of the giver without a desire of reciprocation. The recipients’ only act is to receive it. But there was one problem with this grace. To the Greeks, grace was always given to a friend, never an enemy.
This is where charistook on a whole different meaning to Christ-followers. Romans 5:8 described why, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.!” Jesus exemplified to His followers that grace was no longer a gift offered to their loved ones only but to their enemies also.
The greatest gift of all time was grace given to us by God Himself while we were stubbornly acting independently even in rebellion of His will. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). God had only one thought in mind, eternal life for each of us. He knew that it would take the shed blood of His sinless Son to achieve this. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says it this way, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
It took the gift of His Son to save us. As a Greek would tell you, your only responsibility is to receive His gift of charis/grace. John 1:12 states, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Paul clarifies this in Ephesians 2:8&9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” You can’t work to earn charis/grace, you receive it.
Do you know how we change our world, our communities, and most of all our families especially when you know they don’t deserve it? We offer them charis/grace, gifts from the heart of God with no expectations. You love period, end of story.
You may say this sounds like a whipping. Quite the opposite is true. The root word for charis is char which means “joy.” Experience the abundant life of sharing life with God by offering grace to others even enemies and watch God change lives including your own.