GRACE, GRACE, AND MORE GRACE

Gooooood Morning Beautiful People! We are on day FIVE of our 30 lessons in 30 years series! I know we're just getting started, but I'm also like "Day 5 already?!" YUP! Day 5 already! As you can tell by the title, today we are talking aaaalll about GRACE! Yes yes GRACE! "Grace that restores. Grace that redeems

Grace that releases me to worship" Now there are many directions we can go with this topic; but, I believe that all fall under the following:


HAVE GRACE FOR YOURSELF AND FOR OTHERS


Knowing Grace and showing Grace has GOT to be one of the MOST important lessons I've learned in my life. You may not realize it but Grace is such a conduit for peace, you can't even fathom how much. Now in the bible, Grace is mentioned about 170 times; and when I looked up the definition of Grace, I was surprised to even see how many ways Grace is defined. Here are a few of my favorites:

Noun:

  1. unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

  2. a virtue coming from God

  3. simple elegance or refinement of movement.

  4. courteous goodwill.

I believe that the more we understand and grasp the reality of humanity, the more we will be able to grasp the importance of grace. The more we can understand the imperfect nature of being a human, the more we will be able to extend grace. We all fall short, I repeat, WE ALL FALL SHORT. Nobody is perfect! WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. But not only that, we are all different. So, what one person may think is a great idea, another may take offense to, and without Grace, our humanity will be (and often is) the trigger for discord. The absence of grace breeds an ethos of calamity. I don't know how many times I've quoted this scripture, and I plan to quote it for the rest of my days. But I truly believe that this scripture is a major key to life:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

As we make our best human attempt to love our neighbor as ourselves, it requires grace. Grace says "You made a mistake, but I will not punish you relentlessly for it." Grace says "I know what I experienced from you, but I also know your intentions were not malicious." Grace says "It's ok, but let's do better next time." Showing grace is not a free pass to allow people to do whatever they want and get away with it. Of course, we still have to hold people accountable, but with grace, accountability is leading with love not anger, with the desire to see growth not to repay suffering, with an aim for harmony, not discord.


What does it look like to show grace to ourselves?

It looks like not dwelling on our past mistakes. It looks like not expecting ourselves to be perfect. It looks like making a mistake and rather than torturing ourselves, seeking solutions. It looks like not stopping ourselves from doing things because "I know I'm going to mess up", but rather going for it with the full knowledge that "I might and probably will mess up, but I'll get better along the way". THERE IS SO MUCH PEACE IN THAT! Grace is the acceptance of our humanity, and the fuel to keep on being.


What does it look like to show grace to others?

Same thing as for yourself.... just to someone else lol! And there is so much peace in that too. When we stop expecting people to be perfect, it becomes easier to be in community with them. Grace helps you get along, understand, mend, forgive, and move on. Sometimes it takes grace to give grace. I love the third definition I listed above "simple elegance or refinement of movement" I love it because sometimes when things happen we have quick reactions and don't allow the space and time for grace to permeate the situation. With grace, sometimes it requires us to be more elegant and refined in our movements and responses. Sometimes grace requires us to be more graceful.


Once I realize how much Grace the Lord gives me, child I'd be foolish (and selfish) not to give it back to others.


The whole time I've been writing this, I just can't shake the feeling that I'm missing something.... like there's something else I'm supposed to write in here. I honestly don't know what it is.... but I'm going to give myself grace. I will probably come back to this topic and do a part 2 once I figure it out. But until then, may Grace, Peace, and Mercy be unto you.








- Woods


Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time

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