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14 March 2010

finding grace

Today marks the third Sunday of a five-week sabbatical that I'm taking from planning and leading music, and from general pastoral duties at Wall Highway. Tons of thanks to those on my team who have stepped in to fill the role!

Over the past few weeks, God has begun to hammer into my head that "grace" is actually something He wants me to show to others. Sure, I already knew that, but what I'm learning is that it's easy -- even automatic -- to show grace to some people. I guess I'd call that "easy grace." (You wouldn't have guessed that, eh?) That's the kind of grace that almost every believer has and therefore assumes that they've pretty much got it nailed down.

Example: if your grandmother is 92 years old and does something that winds up harming you (I don't know... maybe like using your 1963 Fleer baseball cards to start a fire one chilly evening), chances are pretty good that you're not going to assume she was out to get you, and even though you're initially upset about what happened, you'll probably forgive her and love her just the same. You may not leave your '52 Topps set (the one with the Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays rookie cards) at her house anymore, but you'd be able to give some grace.

But what about someone who ought to know better but still does something that hurts you? I'll bet that I don't have to come up with an illustration for your mind to immediately race to someone like this. Are you able to give grace? to love them, pray for them, and turn the other cheek?

There will, indeed, be times at which we'll need to confront sin or make someone aware that what they're doing as a believer is what we call "wrong." However, if we break things down and look at them carefully, I believe we'll find that more often than not, we see things from a skewed perspective of self-centeredness, which easily overrules the grace that we should have.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.

Where non-believers are concerned, our allowance for grace should be absolutely huge. Jesus lived this way. The New Testament letters speak to this -- those who claim to be believers are the ones who should be held to a holy standard, not the people who don't know Christ. However, most of what I see in the Church is complete disdain for those who don't know Jesus, and rather than loving those people -- sharing Christ, giving help, and giving encouragement to them -- our goal seems to be to show them that they're ignorant and that they'd be smart to listen to us.

I'll stop writing for now and leave this as a less-than-focused post. No good wrap-up thought or statement. As always, your feedback is solicited!


John King said...

I would like to make a statement. for me Grace is very easy. An sometimes due to my Grace. Its taken the wrong way. For instance. Giving a friend something. But the friend feels awkard. My point. Some who give Grace, are misunderstood. Does this person have a motive for giving such a nice item away. An there are those who are lost an not only can't they show Grace. But they can't except it. For someone who has been abused from birth to 14. an had many bad things happen to me.
Because, I know im Blessed. I can still show Grace. Last Point. If someone harms me spirtually. An I show Grace. But the Grace is not excepted. Than for me, an correct me if im wrong. Is to just lay it at the Lords feet to handle. Grace is so easy. An the things i've wittness happen by showing Grace. It Fills your heart with a Faith an Strength that just continues to grow. an as others witness this Grace. They too change an start to show Grace. I think some people are just plain afraid unfortunally simply to be themselves. Or some feel they don't have to explain or repent for there actions. Yet they as a weed does, spread an cause the flowers to be unable to bloom or maybe even survive spirtually. To me Grace is the most wonderful thing one human being can show to another. An not expect something in return. Just a Drummers Opinon. if im incorrect plese say so. I love to learn an grow..

Dean Lusk said...

Those are perfect examples of grace that I didn't even think about. Very, VERY interesting about the grace you give to others not being accepted because they think you're motivated out of some kind of self-interest. Honestly, that's the way I'm prone to think sometimes unless I know the person giving the grace.

And another thing; you said that when you give grace, "[other people} too change an start to show Grace." Absolutely!! This is one of those things that's contagious. We don't give grace just so other people will do it for us, but when we obey God, He can show Himself to other people through us.

I find that amazing!

Great comment! Thanks, John!

Christy said...

Great post, Dean.

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