Grace explained – grace experienced

By Dave Henning / April 20, 2017

Grace explained is necessary, but grace experienced is essential.”- Kyle Idleman

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”- Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)

In the Introduction to his latest book Grace Is Greater: How to Overcome Your Past, Redeem Your Pain, and Rewrite Your Story, Kyle Idleman notes the familiarity of the word grace.  That common usage potentially causes a problem.  Because we find ourselves immersed in grace, the adjective amazing seldom comes to mind.

Thus, Pastor Idleman invites us to see the word grace again for the first time.  For when we miss grace, things get toxic or bitter.  In fact, Kyle notes, Hebrew culture considers any poisonous plant a “bitter” plant.  And if a small, bitter root grows slowly, eventually that poison takes effect.  Bitterness only stays buried for so long.

Therefore, Kyle posits, we best understand grace “not by way of explanation alone but through experience.  In other words, grace explained is necessary.  However, grace experienced is essential.  Explanation without experience produces little effect.  To illustrate, Pastor Idleman repurposes E. B. White’s famous quip on humor: “Grace can be dissected like a frog, but the thing dies in the process.”

In conclusion, Kyle prays that we personally experience the truth that grace is greater.  He explains that grace is:

  • powerful enough to erase your guilt
  • big enough to cover your shame
  • real enough to heal your relationships
  • strong enough to hold you up when you’re weak
  • sweet enough to cure your bitterness
  • satisfying enough to deal with your disappointments
  • beautiful enough to redeem your brokenness

Today’s question: How do you balance grace explained and grace experienced?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Appreciate the beauty of God’s grace”

About the author

    Dave Henning