when I wanted to withhold grace

When I Wanted to Withhold Grace

As I sorted through the details of my father’s meager estate, I discovered a tendency in my flesh to want to withhold grace from the benefactor of his life insurance policy. As I wrestled with this, I found an even deeper understanding of God’s great grace for all His children.


To Withhold Grace

To the woman who broke my dad’s heart:

I don’t know if you’ve even heard that he died, since you left town and changed your number without so much as a good-bye four years ago.

I’m sure you thought you were doing what was best for you. And I’m not so naive as to think he was completely innocent in whatever happened.

But he loved you.

He loved you enough to leave his only significant, monetary, earthly asset to you. Maybe you never knew it, but he made you his life insurance beneficiary. And didn’t change it after you abandoned him.

Withhold Grace

My Messy Flesh

In my flesh, I’m convinced you don’t deserve the money.

In my flesh, I want to make you pay, to force you to call me and grovel for the death certificate so you can cash in his policy.

In my flesh, I even entertained the idea of hiring lawyers and arguing that my dad would never in his right mind have wanted you to have it.

In my flesh, I want to hate you.

In my flesh, 

I’m a mess.

But The Spirit

But, oh, the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has been convicting me. You see, I’m also a woman who broke my Heavenly Father’s heart and tried to run away from His love. More than once, at that.

But long ago, He signed a life insurance policy for me in His Son’s blood.

God signed a life insurance policy for me in His Son’s blood. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

And I need to know that His love and promises are as binding as my dad’s signature on those official documents. That He is faithful to His obligations NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how many times I run away. No matter how often I mess up.

God Doesn’t Withhold Grace

In fact, God’s promises are true for ALL PEOPLE, even for those who are unaware or refuse to accept them. They are true no matter what we think about them.

He freely offers a heavenly inheritance, even when we choose to decline our allotted portion.

The blessings my Heavenly Father has bestowed upon me are no mistake, yet they are scandalous. I’ve turned my back on Him. I don’t deserve them. I can’t earn them. Neither can you. No one can.

This is grace.

And I write about it a lot. Now, I have the opportunity to extend it to you. But this isn’t about any insurance policy. Honestly, I don’t care about the money.

This is about sharing the Gospel. About discovering what grace looks like in real life. About reminding myself how He has blessed me beyond measure when I deserve death and eternal damnation for my continuous string of failures in the flesh. About reassuring those I love that that same grace is available for them. That we can never stray too far to turn back toward Him. No matter what, His grace is always there waiting for us, even when we’ve forgotten about it. He will never change His policy.

When I wanted to withhold grace

God’s Great Grace

Some will say my sister and I, or dad’s grandchildren should be entitled to the money. In the flesh, they may be right, but life insurance isn’t something any of us work for. It’s a gift. It can be tempting to think I have earned more grace than others because I go to church and write Christian devotions and lead in women’s ministry. But I don’t. Where God’s grace is concerned, we are all on equal footing. We are all sinners. We all need grace just the same. And it’s not my place to withhold it from you.

He sent His son on purpose, knowing we are prone to wander.

He sent His son on purpose, knowing we are prone to wander. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

It is my sincere prayer that when you receive the money, instead of seeing dollar signs, you’d see nails on the cross. That this small gesture will point you toward God’s grace. Because that is His will – that all would come to saving faith in Him.



(another woman chased by grace)



Linking Up With

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerFaith On FireSusan B. MeadFaith Filled FridayGrace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridaySoul SurvivalRah Rah Link UpTell His StorySitting Among FriendsTestimony TuesdayPlanting Roots, and Fresh Market FridaySalt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday,  Moments of Hope


when I wanted to withhold grace

59 thoughts on “When I Wanted to Withhold Grace

  1. Wow Liz! I love how you have turned this around for God’s glory. So sorry this happened to all of you, but God has a perfect plan and you are blessing lives with this testimony and prayerfully hopeful this will impact the lady in a powerful way to turn her life around.

    Great job!

  2. Hi Liz,
    This is so beautiful and raw. Praise the Lord for amazing grace; not always easy to give but such a blessing to receive. Forgiveness is so freeing and such a wonderful way you compared it to our relationship with God. Thanks for sharing! I’m your neighbor at Word of God Speaks 🙂

    1. It has been a struggle, but putting the death certificate in the mail felt like the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders!

  3. Well said Liz! A beautiful post about grace AND forgiveness. Hard to write I’m sure, but oh so true. Of course, in my flesh, I was wanting you to send a copy of this post with the death certificate….But God. Love you, my sweet friend!

    1. I totally thought about sending it, Ellen! In fact, I probably should have if only for the woman at the life insurance company to see How God’s grace heals!

  4. Very convicting, Liz. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your father. I hope the Lord allows you to see abundant good fruit from your grace toward this woman.
    Blessings, Leigh

  5. I am choked up…this is so real & rocks with the Rock of our salvation. I thank God for your marvelous example to us of mercy & grace, given first to you through Christ, and now extended through you to this woman. Thanks be to God for His victory through our Lord Jesus Christ….I love & admire you….xo

    1. Don’t admire me. I had nothing to do with it. It was shocking to see how hateful I was toward her. But the Spirit…. Love you, too! xo

  6. What an awesome message, Liz. Thank you so much for sharing it at Word of God Speak.
    You have really made the point – if we are to be like Christ – we need to act like Him.
    Well done.

    1. It is what we are called to do! And I’m thankful that God has given me peace in this situation by extending it. Thank you, Kelsey!

  7. Sweet girl, everything happens for a reason. Gods purpose is not always clear at the time, but you will look back on these events and be grateful for the way things turned out. It seems hard now, but it will become easier. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Dad from your life. Thanks for linking this post at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Love, Mimi xxx

  8. Oh, Liz – what a tough spot. Your hurt is evident and your heart to honor God is so pure. I pray that God goes before you and clears the murkiness from these waters and that what is right is what rules. Regardless of the outcome, your heart for God is a testimony of His work in you. Blessed to be your neighbor at #testimonytuesday today.

  9. What a profound message of forgiveness, redemption and faith. I love how being convicted brings forth such deep faith and the ultimate insurance policy–God Himself. Beautiful blog! So rich and thought provoking. I hope this woman is convicted like you were.

  10. Wow. What a hard, hard place to be in but you’ve sifted it through the grace and love of Christ that are ours. I pray that you have peace over all of this — peace that passes any of our human understanding. Thank you for your demonstration of grace.

    1. I do! That is the miracle of it all… When I dropped that envelope with the feather certificate in the mail I discovered that peace that surpasses our understanding! Praise God!

    1. He is and what a treasure it is indeed! Melissa, do you contribute to Rooted Moms? Your pics are so different, I can’t quite match them…. Thanks for stopping by today! Blessings, liz

  11. O! Liz, this deeply resonated with me. The story is a bit different but nevertheless, extremely relate-able. God bless you all. #6 at WWI today. Glad we were neighbors.

  12. Wow, Liz. How hard, but you’re responding with grace. What a powerful analogy you’re sharing here. Grace undeserved. That’s what I’ve received too. Thank you for your words this evening.

  13. This was powerful and raw, so full of freedom and redemption. I’m grateful you’re experiencing the fruits of this grace we talk about. It’s real and it’s free. Blessings to you and thanks for linking up at #GiveMeGrace

    1. I glad you saw the freedom in this. Because that’s what I felt when I dropped that envelop in the mail box – freedom. It was powerful!

  14. What a poignant and powerful reminder of God’s undeserved grace Liz! Thank you for sharing your heart with such honesty. I think sometimes we are apprehensive about what to share on our blogs but in trusting Him we bless others! Thank you again for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

  15. Hi Liz, wow such a powerful post, and so honest. Extending grace is not an easy thing. But in the light of what Jesus did for us, extending grace is essential. Great post, and thank you for linking it up on Winsome Wednesday. I hope to see you there again next week and the week after…
    God bless

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Tracy! It’s hard to fully understand that grace He gives us and not then have a desire to extend it to others. Still hard in reality, but His grace is compelling!

  16. This is absolutely beautiful and so very well written, Liz! Thank you so much for sharing it with us at the Grace & Truth link-up! It’s convicting to me as I read your words of the battle in your flesh and I must say thank you for writing this!!

  17. Extending grace when my flesh cries “NO!” is so hard. But it is worth it – it somehow helps the anger, bitterness and rage dissipate. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth this week.

  18. What an amazing testimony! This morning your words hit me right between the eyes. Mercy…I love (sometimes hate) the way the Holy Spirit does that! I’m grateful you penned your story. It blessed me today and no doubt will continue to bless many others! (Your “neighbor” over at #livefree.)

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