What is “Common Grace”?

Dustin Crowe
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Christians and non-Christians alike have access to God’s common grace. “Common” might not sound like a big compliment, but it conveys the audience, not the quality of the gift. They’re experienced by being in the world originally created by God as good.[1] The sun shines and the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45). They differ from gifts of “special grace” or “saving grace” given only in Jesus.

With our first breath in the morning, the blessings from God tally up. The creaturely benefits call for gratitude to the Creator. Which of these can you thank God for?

  • Sleep. Even better, sleep under a roof on a bed with warm covers.
  • Active minds and bodies.
  • Running water, plumbing, hot showers, and a toothbrush for morning breath.
  • A refrigerator and the food inside.
  • A job, including the money it provides and the opportunity to use your experiences and skills.
  • People you care about and who care about you.

We might contribute to these things, but apart from God’s generosity and kindness, we would have none of them. Give thanks.

[1] Chapter 1 of Alan Noble’s book Disruptive Witness highlights the barrier of distraction and the effects on the Christian life. Alan Noble, Disruptive Wit- ness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2018). See also Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).

For Further Reading:

The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

by Dustin Crowe

The apostle Paul instructed the Philippians to be anxious in nothing and thankful in everything. And when he said everything—he meant...

book cover for The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks