The Different Faces Of Grace Essay Research

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The Different Faces Of Grace Essay, Research Paper The Different Faces of Grace Grace. Just what is grace? Why did I choose the word grace for my paper? I chose the word grace because it means something to me personally, and I wanted to enhance my knowledge of it’s many meanings. When I think of the word grace, I think of something wonderful,something powerful. To me, grace is more than just a word, it is a gift from God. I have always known it’s definition to be “receiving what is undeserved.” An example of grace is forgiveness. No one “deserves” to be forgiven. Forgiveness is something we “undeservingly receive.” So, that makes forgiveness a form of grace. I first learned these things from my parents, from church sermons, and from studying the Bible. I have

often confused the definitions of grace and mercy. Mercy is “not receiving what is deserved.” For example, in a court of law, a judge may show mercy to the convicted person by pronouncing a sentence less severe than the law allows for an offense. Grace and mercy go hand in hand; it is impossible to have one without the other. Grace is a big part of my life because it allows me to love and forgive others. If I were not living under “God’s grace” I am not so sure I could forgive others as easily as I do. The word grace has been around for many years. Grace’s meaning began as one which applied to attractiveness. It was later used to mean favor and then to mean gratitude. Through the years, grace has made an impact on many people’s lives. Some form of grace can be found

in songs, plays, businesses,royalties, poems, and Christianity. According to The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) the English spelling of grace comes from the French word grace. The word grace goes back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries when it was spelled grass or grease. The history of grace originated from the Latin word gratia which lead to the Spanish word, gracia, the Portuguese word, graca, and the Italian word, grazia. The first definition given in the OED is “pleasing quality, gracefulness.” The archaic definition is “pleasantness of flavor.” Both of these definitions deal with something being pleasant or pleasing to a person. The first definition in the unabridged dictionary states the same when it reads “elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or

action.” For example, when a person says someone moves gracefully, like a ballerina, they are referring to grace as an elegant motion. The second definition in the unabridged dictionary is “a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.” These definitions show that grace also deals with beauty, and beauty is definetly a pleasing quality. One interesting thing I discovered is there once was a game called “the graces.” The game was played with hoops and a pair of slender rods. It got its name because it helps develop graceful movements of the arms (OED). The second definition for the word grace is “favour.” “It is a matter of favour not of right” (OED). The OED contains some old terms using the word grace. These include, “save your graces,” meaning “may it

not displease you.” Another is “by grace of,” meaning “thanks to.” This definition relates grace to being like forgiveness, as when a person asks for forgiveness he is asking a favour. A favour is usually asking someone to do something for you that you don’t deserve. Being in a person’s “good graces” implies being in his favour and good opinion (OED). An obsolete definition that I found interesting was “a gratuity or douceur” (OED). I would never have associated grace with a tip. This is another example of finding favour. For example, a server at a restaurant must find favour with the customer, and his reward is the gratuity left for him. The OED also associates the grace definition of “favour” in a religious sense. The OED refers to “the grace of