Several of my friends are reading Grace for the Good Girl now, reminding me that I never posted more of my thoughts on it. One brief passage that resonated, and has stuck with me, was about the fruits of the Spirit (as listed in Galatians 5). Emily Freeman says she went through a phase of "working on" a specific fruit each week - joy, kindness, patience, self-control, etc. Each week, she'd power through a few days before falling into despair. (I've undertaken similar projects with similar results.) But as she came to understand grace better, she realized that fruits of the Spirit aren't things we have to produce. They're things we already possess as Christians.
This good [the fruit of the Spirit] is a result of the Spirit within us. Goodness is a fruit or a natural outcome, not a try-hard workout. Only Jesus can be like Jesus. And he wants me to trust him to be who he is in and through me. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). We received him by faith for salvation, and now we can walk in him by faith just the same.
So, this is another facet of what grace is about: realizing we don't have to work for what's already been given freely to us. We can be at peace. I wish I believed this all the time, because when I do, I feel such peace.
I'll be posting more little blurbs and thoughts as I think about them!