Friday, July 20, 2012

His Grace Should Encourage My Grace

Grace gives the strength to face imperfection and faults, knowing God's provision is greater than human lack. Grace gives the ability to extend kindness when circumstances might tempt us to withhold it. Grace welcomes us into a deeper relationship with God. no matter where we've been or what we've done in the past. Indeed, grace is amazing!  Margaret Feinberg

Grace for others is something we need to achieve to be Christ-like. His grace for us should encourage us to extend grace to those in our lives. It doesn't mean we gullibly let others take advantage. It does mean that we love and forgive even when it is not deserved. There is an old quote I like about children but really applies to all of us. People need love especially when they don't deserve it. This is so true. I am grateful I don't get what I deserve because I would be overwhelmed by the consequences of my thoughts and actions.

Why is it easier to extend grace to strangers or brief acquaintances than to our own children, spouses, or others who are most important to our lives? A few years ago, another Young Life leader called me out on that very thing. We were working with difficult middle school girls at the time. After witnessing an unpleasant interaction between my 16 year old daughter and myself, she boldly asked why I had so much grace for others and so little for my Natalie. If she threw cold water in my face it  could not have shocked me more. First, that she trusted enough to be that honest with me. Second, that I did have less grace for the one I loved the most.

Her words have stuck with me for the past 7 years. How often I fly off the handle at my kids in a way I would never behave in front of others. Have any of you ever been loudly frustrated with your kids and stopped dead in your rant when the doorbell rang? What did the stranger hear? Mortified and embarrassed you pray they didn't hear your anger. But the sad truth is those you hold closest to your heart heard and were the target.

My theory is that we want so badly for our family members, especially our kids to succeed that we push to hard. It probably also feels like a reflection on us when they mess up. Too often our lack of grace far outweighs the mistakes of those we are angry with.

How thankful I am that I am treated with grace from my Heavenly Father. Grateful also that He doesn't give me what I deserve. His grace is enough. My grace should be there for everyone in my life. My family should get the best of me including my love and understanding especially when they mess up.

In Him,

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I just read another blog about this. His grace is enough! Guess that means this message is definitely for me. :-) Thank you!