For the last seven weeks I’ve been listening to this series of messages on grace. I have a long way to go. I can have grace for people others can’t fathom not calling monsters but I struggle with grace for people who are just deceitful and mean… I know both come from roots. I know both stem from experiences. But people who are just narcissistic and want power and do so through deceitful means… I don’t even like being near them.
Smelly, bug ridden homeless person looking for a way to make life better – let’s go.
Child molester who is willing to talk through the issues and get to root of problem – prayed up and ready to walk with him.
Rapist who violently hurt people and now wants to walk a better way – come on over to a public place (I’m giving grace not being stupid!) and let’s talk.
But people who deceive others and are just mean… I need some years ahead of me to work on this one. Having grace doesn’t mean I need to be around you, but it does mean when I see a news conference I am not having a headache afterward from the scowl marks across my forehead the whole time I puzzlingly questioned the words coming from the person’s mouth. It does mean I can see someone I know is deceiving people and not feel sick to my stomach and want to find another way to walk because having to pretend to be friendly makes me feel just as deceitful. It means truly understanding others have a process and deserve grace just as much as I do.
At the end of the day, by my own beliefs, we ALL fall short and need grace. I am far from perfect. And I agree with Pastor Todd, we put levels on it that make us feel better than others because we don’t do certain things. But those levels are man made and just as I dislike hypocrisy and call others out on how they believe in two conflicting ideas or speak one thing and live another, I have to be aware of my own hypocrisy. I can’t say I love Jesus and look at people like they are beyond His grace.
Grace is such a backwards subject from what we are taught growing up. Is grace justice or the opposite of it? Am I thankful for grace and if so why would I not want everyone else to experience it regardless of how they live? These are some of the questions on my mind as I think about what’s going on in the world… a world that definitely needs grace and love.
Until next time,