Grace, Are You There?
Where does grace start and end? Sometimes grace can be such a fickle and weird thing. One day we can just exude it from our skin... maybe the sun is shining, perhaps the coffee at Starbucks was exceptionally tasty, maybe our boss gave us a fantastic compliment... maybe it is just a good day and for us to show grace is easy.
What about the other days? What about when you have a sinus infection, or it has been raining for eight days straight... or somebody questions your character or even worse yet, they attack you without merit? When my lousy day meets my opportunity to show grace, there is a real dilemma!
So what do we do? How can we be consistent? We can think about Jesus and think about the "awful" (understatement) day he had when He was called on to demonstrate the most profound act of grace known to humanity. He was beaten, falsely accused, betrayed by friends, spit upon, beaten some more, humiliated, abandoned and ultimately murdered! I would say that is a bad day.
I guess when you get hit with the picture of Jesus's suffering it doesn't allow us to say too much, right? But still... how can I grasp this tangibly in the comfort of America? Because really, at the end of the day, I want to please my God! I want to show grace even when my world feels dreary.
So here is the thing that I have learned. It is NOT an "AH HA!" light bulb type of solution. It is to simply work at it. My Dad used to tell me that anything worth doing took hard work. So in those days where everything is smooth, cherish the grace that easily flows from you. On those days where it takes EVERYTHING in you to show grace, work it.... I know, as I said, it isn't some magical formula. It is more of a realization that we are entrenched in a spiritual battle... flesh vs Spirit.
Check out this verse in Galatians 5
17 - For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Recognizing this opposition within me is the start for me to understand the work it takes to show grace when it is hard!
Soli Deo Gloria