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Sunday, June 14, 2015

7 Reasons to Exercise Grace in the Toughest Relationships

Grace we receive in abundance from God,
Yet grace does not emanate from us the same way,
It’s hard to love others,
Especially some sisters and brothers,
So we must always guard what we say.
***
Ever notice that some people tend to press our ‘fury’ button easier and more regularly than others? In all this is the reminder, “God’s not finished with any of us yet.”
Here are some reasons to exercise grace:
1.     Understand, God’s not finished in you: the tragic irony implicit in my lack of grace is that I’m further than ever from my Creator God in thinking I’m all finished and perfected enough in his sight to think that God’s grace only has work in others to do.
2.     Accept, God’s not finished in them: if God’s not finished in us how can we expect that he’s finished in them? How can we hold them to a higher standard? How can we even hold them to as high a standard as we hold ourselves to? No, we can best accept that God’s grace is still refining them according to his plan and not our own.
3.     Comprehend, God’s not finished in the situation: how do we know how the situation might ultimately play out? Would we prefer to get in God’s way and procure our own result because we haven’t comprehended that our Lord’s not finished working yet? Doing God’s will is often about getting out of God’s way.
4.     Enjoy God’s grace in you: we will rarely come even close to understanding the consummate value of God’s grace in us — to experience his forgiveness and blessing. It can only be enjoyed; this sweeping sense of implicit compassion we never did deserve. When at last we can enjoy God’s mercy, then, at last, we have the very best of love’s life.
5.     Admire God’s grace in them: when we see how God’s grace has resurrected another person, and we see their gifts for what they are, with no grip of envy, we are blessed to see them in God’s finery. Sure, they have some known weaknesses, but just look at God’s glory in them as they strut what only they do as their best.
6.     Adore God’s grace in the situation: many times, having zipped my lips, God has given me cause, later, to thank him for his grace in me to accept the situation as it was — even though, personally, I may have been livid. All I can say is, “Wow! — thank you for your wisdom operant in me, there, Lord!” Far from taking any credit, when we see how God’s grace is already working we really can believe that God is so very good.
7.     Remember the grace of the Father in Jesus Christ: in terms of grace, there is no measure, no datum, and no surer guide like the grace of the Father in his Son’s crucifixion. If we can recall in a moment the calamitous sense of injustice in the cross, we can easily bear this marginal injustice before us.
***
The grace of the heavenly Father,
The giving of his only Son,
Or would we prefer to rather,
That Satan, instead, had won?
So why do we refuse God’s grace,
In the one before us now?
Better to seek God’s face,
Pray more grace to us he endow.

© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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