All of us want, or sometimes even expect, others to give us grace.
But we often find ourselves hesitating to extend that same grace to others, don’t we?
When determining our core values here at Love, we knew it would be important to incorporate grace. We knew this because we so often catch ourselves in this same pattern- wanting grace but not extending it.
We are human, so we will always be working on this, but by holding it as a core value, we will continue to keep grace at the forefront of this ministry, where we can be reminded as we make decisions and interact with one another, that it is best to lead with grace.
Grace: Assuming the best, we lead with extending favor.
In 2 Corinthians 1:12, Paul tells us, “We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.” We want this ministry to depend on this same grace.
Every interaction we have should be full of grace. Our office has a sign right before you enter that reads, “Stay Curious.” This sign reminds all of us to assume the best when there is missing information. To give someone favor rather than be suspicious. To extend favor even when it’s easier not to, or might not feel safe. Sometimes grace isn’t the safe route, but it’s the route Jesus calls us to take.
There’s a phrase you may have heard before, “grace upon grace.” This phrase was used in a recent message at a church partner’s Sunday morning service. The pastor explained that another word for grace, in greek, is gift. And that God’s first gift of grace was giving us the Bible, or the words of God. Do we ever stop and just think about what an amazing gift this is? But God didn’t stop there. He then gave us a second gift of grace when He sent His only Son, Jesus, who lived out the Words of God. An even greater gift! We now have the inspiring Words of God and the actions of Jesus himself who lived it out.
What do these gifts of grace do for us today? We think they remind us to put on grace, daily. And not to just put them on with our words, but with our thoughts AND actions. Let’s extend grace even more often than we want it for ourselves.
How can you live this out in a real way for someone you love? Rather than just telling them you love them, what if you found a personal way to show them just how much?
How can you live this out for someone who is struggling in your community? Rather than just saying you care about them, what if you signed up to be their mentor?
As followers of Christ, let’s not let judgment define us. Instead, let’s continue to remind each other to ‘stay curious’ and put on grace.