When you read the title, did you automatically think, “money.” Maybe you thought, “love.” What about “Jesus.” While those are all true, it’s not exactly what I will be dealing with. There is a little word that has an enormous meaning that God has been convicting me about for several weeks now. It’s grace. Yes, grace. You see, it isn’t hard to look around and find a bad example. Throughout our day, we see how people live and interact, and we think to ourselves, “I wouldn’t do it that way.” I wouldn’t rear my children like she does. I wouldn’t work that job. I wouldn’t do those things. While these are very often true statements, they leave us with a feeling of superiority. We find ourselves convinced that we are doing it, well everything, the right way. Thus, we often distance ourselves from the people who may need us the most. We need good examples. We need people willing to mentor others; to take them into their lives and teach them how to live like Christ said to live. We all need a little more grace.
It is not easy to possess this attribute. At least, it isn’t for me. I don’t ooze kindness, compassion or forbearance. I am quick tempered, hot headed and often act based upon my emotions instead of wisdom. I am impatient. Thus, I have found myself repeating the word “grace” over and over in my head and even often aloud throughout my days over a month now. I have found that this reminder is vital to conforming my tarnished character to that of Christ. When I am at the grocery and behind a woman with two shopping carts filled to the brim, a stack of coupons in hand, and a toddler who is pulling everything off the shelves, I repeat to myself, “Grace. Grace. Grace.” When my husband and I have a tiff despite the fact that we are both saying the same thing, I repeat to myself, “Grace. Grace. Grace.” When I am in a hurry, late and stuck behind an elderly person on what seems to be a Sunday afternoon drive, I repeat aloud, “Grace. Grace. Grace.” We could all use more grace.
We are known by our character, and it is important to who we are as Christians. In fact, there is a very well known passage of God’s Word that addresses this very thing. Galatians 5:22-26 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit. We must not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” We are to act in such a way with everyone because we are no longer our own, but Christ’s. Our old self has died (Galatians 2:20). If we are followers of Jesus (the Spirit), we will live accordingly. A great barometer of that is our character; how we treat others. Do you interact and think in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control? Do you show grace?
Ephesians 4:29 says, “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” We are to speak good to others in order to bless them. Foul language isn’t just curse words. Colossians 4:6 states, “Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.” Our words, and actions, are to be constantly filled with grace and truth so that we can teach others about the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Being, or not being, a person of grace is all about our attitude; our spirit. When we walk through life, we are meeting people carrying heavy burdens. We are encountering the lost world. Whether we are also struggling, we must show them that there are people who are different. People who are gracious because Christ has been abundantly gracious to them. This week, be a person who is known by the fruits of the spirit, who watches her words and shows grace and mercy to those around her. After all, we could all use a little more grace. Blessings!