Encouragement, Leadership

Understanding Grace

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Grace is a generosity of spirit. Mercy, compassion, forgiveness can we has humans really understand it? The carnal flesh sees people on the outside and the first reaction is to judge. Why? Do we automatically look at others as our first reaction to judge them based on their appearance, their motives or actions? Do we take the time or even want to know whom they really are? Do we take time to look into the eyes of the one we are even judging? Even as children and teenagers, we base our popularity or status on what we have or what we wear. It is a human cultural thing but not always a godly action.

I wonder how visitors of our churches feel when they enter our building? Do they automatically feel as though they are being judged? Do you think the woman brought before Jesus in adultery was feeling condemned when they brought her out in the open?  Did Jesus condemn her openly or was He quick to judge her or the people who cast her down before Him?  He judged neither. The end result was grace and mercy.  He let not only the accusers go but also the woman.  He did not judge the ones who thought they were righteous nor the sinner.  He however exposed and condemned judging others.

Most of the time when we look at others and are quick to judge, we ourselves are caught in a web of carnality or pharisaical attitude or even the religious disposition. Jealousy, fear, guilt or manipulated, one surrounds him proposing the action of judging. We must see has Jesus does. Not to look upon someone for their past or the present but to see them as Jesus sees them in His future. I find this myself hard at times, wanting to brush people away because of hurt or not wanting to take time for them because of their past actions. It’s not that I don’t have mercy or compassion; I think it is because it makes me frustrated people choose not to change in the way or time I think they should. This can be a very dangerous act to play as God as if to conform people in a way you think God wants. It is then God quickens my spirit to obtain patience along with mercy and grace, so He may teach me ways of His love and allow me to step away to complete His process of shaping the individual. If you find yourself wanting to cast the first stone, then it is time to look at yourself for those very deep seeded sins of judging. Those hidden sometimes must be revealed through prayer. He even tells us in His Word, we won’t even understand it. Yes, it is difficult at times and is not so easy to pull the plank out of our own eye.

As my husband and I have traveled out of the country, we have seen many people who have been less fortunate and live in a very poor culture. For some reason we don’t even think about judging them just by the way they look. Why? Do we see America as so blessed everyone living here should act, talk and dress like us? As I looked over the pictures of the children in Africa my heart longed for those babies. They don’t know the luxury of having parents, a good hot meal, or provisions most of us take for granted. Are we quick to judge then? Not usually. Then why do we condemn our own?

Galatians 4, 5 Now Christ has made us free. Now make sure that you stay free and don’t get all tied up again in the chains of slavery to laws and ceremonies. Let God deal with that person who has been troubling and confusing you. Obey the Holy Spirit and instructions. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The real life I have now is a result of my trusting in Jesus, who loves me and gave himself for me. For I didn’t treat his death as meaningless for if I could be saved by keeping the laws then there was no need for Christ to die. If we could be saved by law then God would not have had to give us a different way to get out of the grip of sin for the Scriptures insist we are all its prisoners. The only way out is through faith in Jesus Christ the way of escape is open to all whom believe him.

Let us have faith in Jesus and trust Him to work in all individuals’ lives no matter where they are or what they choose to look like. Let us see them as a living soul, not for who they are on the outside. Let us look past the image we see just as Jesus did and treat others as a fellow being of the hope of trusting and living Jesus Christ.

Where the grace of God is missed, bitterness is born.  However where the grace of God is embraced, forgiveness flourishes.  The more we immerse ourselves in grace, the more likely we are to give grace.

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