Living in Grace sounds like a beautiful life, but it can be a challenge for each of us, especially if we grew up in a family where gossip and criticism of others was almost an Olympic sport!
I have shortcomings in this area myself. Do you?
Through study and self-examination, I've come to realize that living in grace is about acceptance of others through acceptance of self. It is recognizing that you have no clue what someone else has been through, or why they've made the choices they have.
A few years ago I determined not to say anything behind someone’s back that I would not feel comfortable saying to their face…boy did I fail miserably. I’d become addicted to being critical of others, and saying unkind or hurtful things when they weren’t in my presence.
I tried to imagine what how they’d feel if a hidden microphone were recording my comments and they could overhear what I was saying about them. I’m happy to report I that I’ve made progress; I’m not nearly as judgmental and critical of others as I once was, but I’m still working on it. It’s easy to get pulled into these conversations before you know what’s happening.
Even if you think you know someone’s situation and circumstance, the truth is, you really don’t. God has shown me grace ten bazillion times in my life!
The fact that I get to talk to you on the radio each night, when I have neither a college degree nor any accreditations that would normally be necessary for me to have this privilege, is evidence of God’s grace upon me.
The fact that I have made a multitude of bad choices in life and in love, and yet I have a husband who adores me and children who I have the privilege of raising, despite my short comings and mistakes of my past are future proof of grace.
Oftentimes, it's jealousy that brings out the critical you. Resentment that someone has something that you do not, even though you might feel you are more deserving. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why do THEY have/get to do/ something that I don’t?” I’m guilty of this.
Instead of being harsh or critical or envious, let's look for the good in others and celebrate their successes. To the aunt that drives you crazy, or brother that voted for a candidate you wouldn't have chosen, let's not judge, but instead show grace. To the neighbor who has more, let's celebrate and show grace.
Instead of living in a land of contempt and cold heartedness, let us Live in Grace. It's the holiday season, after all.
I heard someone say the other day that the reason there is so much bitterness after the elections is that many people feel morally or intellectually superior to others; they are not showing grace. Let’s not be that person.
Let’s show kindness and consideration, let’s show patience, let’s celebrate others successes, and let us Live in Grace.