Under Authority – a book by Kimalee Finelli – Follow Up

Follow Up Post to the Original Post on January 17, 2024:

During my years of attending a legalistic church in New England, I began to realize something was lacking from nearly every harsh sermon I managed to sit through.  I left church most Sunday mornings with feelings of guilt for which I had no explanation.  Had I sinned in some way? Was God displeased with me? Why couldn’t I measure up to expectations of obedience or submit to authority?

Decades passed before I learned what was missing in my life. The answer was grace. One little word – could it really be that simple?

Excerpt from chapter 27 of Under Authority, by Kimalee Finelli.

“Sure, grace is what we receive when Jesus died for us, but that’s not where it stops. He gave us the gift of grace itself. And now we can give it away for free. Grace can be anything, but it usually means giving or showing others something they don’t deserve. For example, a kind word in response to someone who was nasty to us. Did they deserve it? No. They deserved to be treated that way in return. The other half of grace is expecting nothing in return. It costs us nothing, and it’s the life God means for us to live.”

I nodded as understanding dawned. “And this is the light others see in us.”

My mother cleared her throat. “The news of the reverend’s passing revealed to me there was no glory from it. I thought I’d be glad he was dead. But instead, I felt empty.”

“I know. Because now, he’ll never get a chance to right his wrongs.”

“Maybe. But we can.”

“Wait.” I put my nose in the air. “Why is it our responsibility to right the reverend’s wrongs?”

“It isn’t our responsibility. This is a prime example of where grace comes in. We give to others what they don’t deserve. And Kate, that includes the reverend.”

“How?”

“By giving to others what he couldn’t. Grace begins with us, but what others receive from that grace is hope. The realization that there is a God who loves us unconditionally and does not seek to hold us under the law or punishment is our biggest hope. This hope liberates us to exercise the free will he gave us. In turn, we want to live the life God designed for us by showing others forgiveness, grace, and hope”.

Under Authority reveals not only Kate’s harsh years under the reverend’s authority, but also demonstrates the journey of her healing process and the victory she achieves through encouraging others to worship the one true Jesus—and not a man.

Let grace be your guiding light. Take notice of the word “let”. It is intentional. Be purposeful and show others the gift of grace.

A book by Kimalee Finelli  – Available on Amazon

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