The dictionary defines grace as this:
1.elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.
2.a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment.
3.favor or good will.
Many people might use it in the way of “extending grace”…others think of grace as forgiveness. The biggest extension of grace was Jesus dying on the cross for us. Erasing our sins…forgiving us for all that we have done.
Mastering grace is a challenge for me…..I will be the first to admit that I can be judgmental, that I need to forgive, that I need to just put aside their past or even something they have done today and show true grace. When I say true grace I mean that we really believe in that grace we are extending…not just saying it and then “faking it”. Lately, the concept of grace has been thrown right into my face…and by that I mean that there have been people put in my life right now that I need to extend grace. It has been tough….I haven’t gotten there yet…I am struggling….but I am working on it.
So enter a couple of weekends ago at The Orchard…we have been having speakers this summer telling their stories. So far they have all rocked my world. Amazingly authentic stories. This weekend was no different. We had the pleasure of listening to Mike Foster who has founded a movement called People of the Second Chance. The stories and examples of living true grace were just what I needed. One thing for sure this is something that I need to work on.
I have realized lately that in my own life there is “unsettled business”, forgiveness that I have yet to give, grace that I just won’t let go of. I dare you to go to the People of a Second Chance website and read some of the stories. Tell me that in some way shape or form that you don’t think to yourself…hmmm they are right. WE are all people that have been given second chances. Think about it…from the small things like the police officer who only gives you a warning to something more involved like a spouse forgiving another for adultery. Almost everyday we are given a second chance…everyday we wake up we are given the opportunity to make it better than the last.
So why do we fail at this? Why are we so judgmental of others? Why do we laugh at the person pulled over on the side of the road getting that ticket? Because that is how our society is…look at the TV shows, the magazine articles and radio commentaries. Look at how we make fun of people that aren’t like us….when really they are just like us. Human beings.
I am challenging myself…to extend the grace…to myself and others. To stop the personal destruction. Won’t you do the same?