Monday, October 24, 2011
Heart to Heart: Sharing God's Grace
Are you selfish with grace?
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? —Luke 6:41
It is so easy to see when other people are screwing up. We could sit there all day and point out flaws in other people's actions, especially those of other Christians. However, that isn't what God wants from us. I love that Jesus, the only perfect person to ever walk the face of the earth didn't do that. He could have. He is the only one who has ever had the right to cast stones, yet instead, He gave His life for us, so that we could be forgiven. But we don't offer grace like that. We are certainly happy to receive God's grace. We are thankful that He is so gracious towards us, but then we sit there and look down on others. We judge them because we don't think that they dress the right way, or talk the right way. We stick our noses up at others because we don't think that they are as good as we are, or worthy of our attention. I don't know about you, but I am certainly thankful that Jesus didn't treat us that way.
Unlike Jesus, who was perfect in every way, we are sinners. We sin every single day in some way or another. 1 John 1 says that if we say we have not sinned we make Christ out to be a liar, and if we say that there is no sin in us we deceive ourselves. We sin; all of us, each and every one of us sin. But instead of working through our own salvation, we focus on the sins of others. It may make us feel a whole lot better, but it isn't what God wants from us. He doesn't want us to hoard His grace all to ourselves, but to show that same grace to others. Jesus didn't die for our sins alone, but for the sins of the world. That includes the lady at church who frequently gossips about others. That includes the sins of your best friend, even if they are sins against you. It includes the sins of our parents, of our peers, teachers, and family.
Do you offer the same grace to others as God has offered to you? Or are you busy casting stones and worrying about others sins instead of your own?
Every time you catch yourself judging someone, compliment them on something that they do well. Even if it is someone clear across the room, walk over and compliment them. If it is someone who you aren't with, pick up a phone and call them just to tell them something nice.
Heavenly Father, I am so selfish with your grace! Please forgive me. I have been casting stones and pointing out their flaws instead of working on my own shortcomings. Help me to encourage others, even in my thoughts. Help me to focus on my own sins, and grow closer to you. My walk with you is the only one that I have control over, so help me to focus my thoughts on sharing your grace, and growing in my love for you. In the name of your Son I pray. Amen.
Written by Heather Hart