Several circumstances have arisen lately that have me contemplating the word, Grace and what it means. I must admit what put me on this road was a lecture about whether my behavior was “Christ like” from someone I barely knew and how that made me feel. While I was licking my wounds, I considered if my behavior had in some way triggered this person.
This set me on an exploration of the word grace and what it would look like if I extended and modeled grace in my daily interactions. All of the time.
It’s such a simple word, but has many meanings.
Here’s what I came up with:
It’s less of a personality trait and more like training for a marathon. It is a daily, sometimes hourly training program for the mind, perceptions, spirit, and heart, and it is really difficult, because there are so many different aspects to it.
1) Let’s start with the first assumption I like to make: There are no mistakes on the spiritual path.
Not for me, not for anyone else.
If that is true, then how someone else is living their life that isn’t my child, and maybe even my child if they are an adult, is none of my business, because my opinions are judgments. I don’t know how it will all turn out for me, much less anyone else. It also robs the object of the judgment of divine guidance, and the self-confidence of proving and trusting themselves. Not judging also means not forming an opinion about someone and whether I like them or not too early. I may not have all the facts.
Judge not, or you will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.
2) Assume good will. I have no idea what other people’s motivations are. What looks like behavior directed right at me probably has nothing to do with me. It means not jumping to conclusions about why people do what they do, and not returning evil for evil.
Don’t retaliate when people say bad things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing.
1 Peter 3:9
3) I have to love other people. I hate to trot Corinthians out, but this is a different scripture than the one that is usually cited:
You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another cultivating a life in common.
1: Corinthians 1:10
4) If I love others, I must have a view of their interests, not just mine.
(Philippians 2:4), and doing to them as I would have them do to me. (Luke 6:31)..
5) It means following Benjamin Franklin’s advice and ” speak ill of no man” even if it is the truth, ” but rather speak all the good I know about everybody.”
Tall order—especially when it is the truth. But, even if it is, what will complaining or gossiping do? Nothing good for them or me.
6) And these two are things I still really struggle with, not using profanity others’ their presence, or complaining in their presence.
Extending grace means uplifting the other person. We may not be offended by profanity or a little negativity, but they might be.
And if Grace means uplifting them, then it isn’t my place to discourage them. their dreams, their plans.
When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval
was precious to them.
7) And if this wasn’t enough, this workout has all of the 10 Commandments rolled into it, doesn’t it? . We shouldn’t steal from others or want to steal something from them. If we love them, we shouldn’t kill them or their character by lying. We should honor them if they are our parents, or even our parents’ age.
This daily practice makes the Insanity Workout appear like a slow walk in the park. It requires constant vigilance not just of our actions, but our words and very thoughts. But, it also means extending the same grace to ourselves. A happy, forgiven soul is so much easier for all to deal with!
Yep, that’s all there is to it:) #Simplebutnoteasy
(c) L E Kinzie