Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Grace Report

Hello all, this post is a check-in of sorts, to you who I am using as my accountability group.  Back in January I shared with you that instead of the usual resolutions that I struggle fail to keep throughout the year, I had decided instead to focus on one word for the entire year.  The word I chose was Grace.  Please read this post that tells you all about One Word and you can also read this post from February that is the first status report.

We are now four and a half months into 2014 (can you believe it) and I can tell you that I still struggle with grace.  Specifically in giving grace to others.

I would love to be able to tell you that I have seen this area of sin in my life and in the past four months I have allowed God to remove that sin and that I freely give grace to others with a smile and a cheerful heart. But then I would be lying.  And the purpose of this blog is to share life with you- the nitty-gritty work in progress that I am, the lessons I am in process (and continually) learning, and the absolute fact that God's grace- through Jesus Christ- covers ALL of it.  So here you go, my for real status report.

I am a fan of justice.  Of facing consequences.  Of being rewarded for hard work and determination.  I like rooting for the underdog, who overcomes and eventually wins! My first inclination is to reward those who deserve it.  I don't want to give people who are slack and lazy a break.  I don't want to cut mean people slack.  I DO NOT want to allow those people to get in front of me while driving when they have cruised past the loooong line of cars waiting to merge, even though they know the lane is ending and they just don't want to wait in the long line, that I have been sitting in for the past 5 minutes  because of people like them...can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine? But as you can see, I still struggle with grace.

Sure, I understand that I need to forgive other people who wrong me as Christ forgives me- "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  Surprisingly that isn't the biggest grace struggle I have.  The hardest time I have in extending grace are in the everyday things.  The people who are rude while driving.  The cashier or waitress who have an attitude.  The people who don't hold the elevator as you are walking into the hallway.  I don't quickly forgive those slights.  Instead I get quickly angry and sometimes mutter about them when they are gone.  Or tell someone else, "Can you believe what they did to me?"  Or post about it on social media. *ouch*  Yep, I have done these things.  I am guilty.

And you may wonder why it matters and what the big deal is?  Well, I tell people I'm a Christian.  I want people to see Christ in me, through my actions and the words I say.  If I'm complaining about people or muttering in an angry huff about them, what example is that sending?  Who does that look like?  Not Jesus.

So, though I have not perfected the art of giving grace to others who I feel don't deserve it (which is the very basis of God's grace to us- favor/forgiveness when we do not deserve it) I have at least come to recognize when I am being ungracious.  And I can say that I have consciously decided to choose grace and to just let it go (perhaps Frozen was an inspiration) more than I used to. 

And more and more I focus on God's grace for me.

What about you?

Do you struggle to extend grace to others?

Do you want to choose a word to focus on for the rest of the year?  It's not to late!

Feel free to share in the comments below.

Love in Christ,


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