Are you generous with giving out grace? It’s a wonderful concept when applied to my own failings and screw-ups. Just give it to me, please! But what about when I have to give it and live it out? Not so easy, right? Can I give it out when they don’t say sorry for wounding me? Can I give it out when their behavior affects my present and preferred future? It’s a lot more fun to pour tasteless “Hater-Ade” down their throats, right? I know. But what if we could switch it up a bit and mix up some sweet “Crème de Grace” to serve to the undeserving around you? This special Grace-mix can be, well, intoxicating!
I am so challenged by this concept today. I am the kind of guy that is quick to honk my horn at the guy who got his driver’s licence in a box of Cracker Jacks! I get a wee bit perturbed when the person in front of me at the counter is so slow to get his stuff done and I want to push him out of the way so I can get mine done. I get disturbed easily I think. Sometimes I even surprise myself by my slowness of grace-living. Not a good thing.
I love this quote from Andy Stanley, “What I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I’m hesitant to extend when I’m confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable. Therein is the struggle, the struggle for grace. It’s this struggle that makes grace more story than doctrine. It’s the struggle that reminds us that grace is bigger than compassion or forgiveness. That struggle is the context for both. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing.”
Disturbing to give out grace? Pretty hard to top that description of Andy’s honesty, so I won’t try. But I am convinced that the struggle to be a “grace giver/liver” will make your life a more beautiful story. Some parents need to begin this grace giving with their own children. I’m thinking about the Dad that still holding out on the child who disappointed him. With grace a real friendship might bloom into old age. But not just parents, kids too! I am thinking about the daughter who won’t forgive her mom because of the harsh words spoken. With grace forgiveness might happen and new joy flourishes between ladies of different generations. Maybe all relationships could use some “Creme de Grace!” I am thinking about the friend who cut off a whole network of close friends because of disappointed expectations. With grace the bonds of love could grow stronger and life filled with better and not bitter thoughts.
“Creme de Grace” … get it, serve it in a tall glass, drink it in, and give it out to your fellow travelers, and just keep living it.