Thursday, August 2, 2012

Giving Grace

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.

That song has gone through my head a lot in the last couple days.  A lot.

Grace…favor or kindness given to one not deserving of it.

Once, a long, long time ago…okay, actually less than a year ago, I remember having a rather passionate discussion with Josiah.  He was trying to help me de-clutter, and it seems I have a habit of having 2 of things…an empty container of gel next to a full one, for example.  Apparently, this is a pet peeve of his.  I remember feeling very hurt by his tone with me, and I explained to him the way I saw things.  At the time I was still a single mom to three children, working full-time, and going to school full-time.  “I’m juggling a million things, and I’m going to drop some things sometimes,” I told him.  “I don’t need you to make me feel guilty about it or teach me a lesson; I need you to extend some grace and simply help me.”

Fast forward to yesterday’s quiet time: we’re almost done with the Resolution for Women, and yesterday’s reading for me was simply titled “Grace.”  The author shared the story of a young wife whose husband worked very hard as a salesman, but made very little money.  She realized one day that the lights were cut off because the bill hadn’t been paid.  He came home late, absolutely exhausted from doors being slammed in his face all day, and found his wife and children waiting for him at the dinner table, having fun in a beautifully candlelit home.  After dinner, he collapsed into the bed, and he didn’t realize until then that the electricity was off.  She never uttered a word about it.  She extended him grace, and he was overwhelmingly grateful.

Putting these two stories together was very convicting for me somehow.  Would I extend the same grace that young wife did, or even the same grace I ask be extended to me?  It seems as though we’re always ready to accept grace, from God and others, but how often are we willing to give that grace in return?

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

That is so hard for me…humility…considering others better than me.

I mean, of course, I can see some people as being better than me, but did you hear what she was saying?  Did you see what he’s doing? *eye roll*  I mean, really!  It’s not that hard.

Yes…it’s that kind of attitude that makes me so often the opposite of humble: haughty.  What does God have to say about haughty?  Let me tell ya, it’s not pretty.

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

The proud and arrogant – "Mocker" is their name; they behave with insolent fury.
Proverbs 21:24

That stings a little right?  Generally, I don’t think of myself as a prideful, haughty person, but I definitely have some prideful, haughty ways about me sometimes.  So I’m going to continue humming, “Greater Than All Our Sin,” and try to remember that while I’m receiving the full benefits of God’s wonderful grace, I should be giving grace to the people around me, as well.

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