Grace is one of those words we hear quite often. But when I sit and think about it, grace is a hard concept to understand. I think there are two different kinds. We have to have grace for ourselves, and create a habit of extending grace to others. Aren't both easier said than done? Thinking about this balance, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on how we can live intentionally by extending grace.
I'm starting to notice a pattern when it comes to character building for myself and my family. We have to do the very thing with ourselves that we want to output. Does that make sense? Last month we talked about how to live intentionally by loving ourselves before we can effectively love others. Same goes for grace. We have to be graceful with ourselves before we can have the capacity to give others grace.
According to the Dictionary, grace is "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." We are able to have grace for ourselves and others because God first showed us grace. Without the example Jesus showed us, we would not have known this kind of grace could be possible.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
I don't think there is a magic wand that comes over us and allows us to live like this on a daily basis. Don't you wish there was? Character isn't worked on and then "boom" you've made it. Character is developed over time as we choose to put off the old, and put on the new in Christ. To learn how live intentionally by extending grace to others, here is a daily step-by-step process we should put into practice:
It's important to realize that this is a daily effort. We aren't perfect. We all fail. But intentionally developing traits to become like Jesus should be our ultimate goal.
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