Monday, March 21, 2011

An extra measure of Grace

Have you ever been surprised by a conversation that just happens to occur when you are least expecting it? I recently had a thought provoking conversation with a person I admire. He has a wonderful way with people while being totally honest. He says what is on his mind and does not mince words. However, he has this way of doing it that still lets you know that he respects you. He does not anger quickly and is good at holding his tongue. He is a man that never exalts himself. Some of these qualities are ones that I wish I was better at myself. I asked him how he manages to deal with people in such a thoughtful and calm way. What he said really made me think. He told me that when someone is in one's family we have to offer them "an extra measure of Grace." That took me by surprise, hearing that come from him. So I asked him what exactly he meant by that. He explained to me that his thoughts were that when we are in a family we have to allow some extra room for people we love to mess up. We know they are going to mess up, they say things they don't mean, they act in ways that are sometimes unloving and they get us angry. BUT...they are our family and we have to allow them to mess up and be themselves, even unloving sometimes. What we have to do is give them "an extra measure of Grace." We are still going to have them as our family and we are going to have to continually deal with them, so this is his perspective. I thought about his perspective and the more I thought about it, the more I loved it. Imagine if all of us always allowed others that "extra measure of Grace?" Our world would be a different place! Our families would live in harmony, our friends wouldn't get angry at us when we overstepped our bounds, our children would forgive us more readily when we make mistakes and we would be more loving toward others even when they acted unloving. I actually like this idea! I have not been able to stop thinking about this concept since he verbalized it. I guess I have always had the thought that I would always forgive others but to extend that "extra measure" when I felt angry was something I had to get my head around. So what is Grace? Grace is favor or forgiveness we receive when we are not worthy of receiving it - the free and unmerited favor or beneficence of God. So can we offer Grace to others? Can we offer free and unmerited favor to someone that has made us angry? This is a huge challenge I will make to all of you reading this post. Can you remember that it is your choice to offer favor to someone in your family or one of your friends (or this is even harder) to an acquaintance, coworker or even a stranger when they offend you? Can you put aside your anger or resentment towards those that you love and even those you aren’t feeling love for and offer them that extra measure of Grace? I never said this would be easy but I did say I would challenge you with this. You can change the course of all of your relationships from here forward. I hope you accept my challenge today and remember to “offer that extra measure of Grace.”

1 comment:

The Watkins said...

I am new to your blog and reading this post hit me square between in eyes as well as struck my heart because I struggle with offering that extra measure of Grace. Thank you for sharing.

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