There are very few things that I can hide. My face is the proverbial “open book”. If I’m happy, it’s obvious. If I’m angry, it’s clear. If I’m contemplative, it’s noticeable. And…if I’m irritated, there’s really no mistaking it…like today at the check-out counter in a store. The clerk taking care of my purchase was, in my estimation, careless and rude. I did not say anything to that person during the transaction nor I did “huff” or “puff” or do anything particularly distinct to demonstrate my irritation, but my face—that proverbial “open book”—was discernable, I’m sure.
After I left the store and took off, I stewed for several minutes feeling justified in my emotions…until…the car radio announced an upcoming sermon broadcast about to start. The topic of the sermon? Grace. Specifically, grace when we feel someone has done the wrong thing toward us. That’s all I had to hear; it was enough. My heart melted, and I realized I had done the wrong thing. My reaction toward that clerk could have been one of grace and understanding, but I missed the mark. I missed the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to that person. And in the end, I realized that I not only needed to have extended grace but that I needed that same grace extended toward me.
Grace can be defined as unmerited favor and undeserved mercy. Paul in Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Grace is given to us freely, a gift from God. Our ability to give grace to others is also a gift from God. In 1 Peter 4:10, Peter explains, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” We are stewards of God’s grace. God trusts us to be wise and faithful with it, administering it properly in a timely and generous manner.
But…we fail sometimes in the administering of it, like I did today. James 4:6 admonishes: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” If we fail, we humble ourselves and repent. The grace that we failed in giving will actually be extended to us. That thought alone is humbling, and I think it makes us want to show grace all the more.
Today, I need to repent, humble myself before the Lord, because I did the wrong thing. Perhaps you were in that place, too, at some point this week. Perhaps you did not extend grace properly and in a timely and generous manner. If so, let’s go to the Father, ask for his forgiveness, and move forward, allowing Him to help us do it better next time.
FBC Aztec Member