Let the fun begin

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Now when you take all this wild, unpredictable and unimaginable love and acceptance that God bestows on us way by His grace and turn it out towards others … that’s when the fun really begins.

You can care for someone who doesn’t care for you. That’s Grace turned Outward.

If someone treats you badly, you can return the “favor” with kindness. And that’s not a fake kindness with anger seething underneath it; that’s a real, wish-the-best-for-you kindness that is only possible because you have signed your human tendency towards revenge over to the Lord who is the only one to repay bad treatment and set people straight, freeing you up to hand out that wonderful undeserved grace that you get from God when you do the same thing. That’s Grace turned Outward.

You can forgive quickly and completely because you know how badly you need to be forgiven, and you don’t want to have to pay the price for your own wrong attitudes and actions. That’s Grace turned Outward.

If someone comes to you expressing remorse or regret for their actions, you don’t wish the wrath of God on them, you can extend them mercy, because that’s what your heavenly Father has done for you. That’s Grace turned Outward.

In regards to people in your life who are rejected by others because of some handicap or disability or just because they are not very attractive or “cool” to be around, you can hold them in high regard, and love and appreciate them, because, as Bono sings, “Grace finds beauty in everything.” That’s Grace turned Outward.

When someone asks you for one more chance, you remember that Jesus told you to forgive a person 490 times (7 X 70) and you figure you’ve got a few more left, so you give them that chance. That’s Grace turned Outward.

If someone is proud, arrogant or aloof towards you, you can be kind and loving towards them, because you realize behind that arrogance, they are most likely hiding a deep insecurity and need to be loved just like anybody else. That’s Grace turned Outward.

When someone is different from you — different religion, different race, different sexual orientation, different nationality, different social class, different anything that seems to be important to some — you can treat them with respect, dignify their humanity, see the image of God in them, and seek to understand and learn from them because that’s what your heavenly Father would have you do. That’s Grace turned Outward.

The fun is finding that aspect of Grace that has nothing to do with the person (whether they’re good, bad, deserving or not), and everything to do with God, the giver, and handing it out freely. Freely you have received; freely give. That’s Grace turned Outward.

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6 Responses to Let the fun begin

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Jus wish I did this a lot more often…

  2. Andrew P. says:

    “If someone comes to you expressing remorse or regret for their actions…” you wrote. That’s when it at least CAN be relatively easy. It’s when they DON’T that the going gets tough. That, in particular, is when this kind of attitude becomes aspirational, not always actual. That’s what I sometimes tell people about songs that say things like, “We’ll always be true to you, Jesus, we’ll never leave you in the lurch, we’ll always and forever be by your side, regardless of the cost” — you know, the kinds of things Peter claimed so vehemently right before he denied Jesus three times — I tell people they should still sing those songs, even though they don’t feel they live up to them, because those songs are aspirational. We aspire to living like that, so we declare it. So we will also declare ourselves devotees of turning grace outward — all along, knowing that we will often fail.

  3. Peter Leenheer says:

    Beautifully written, and touched my soul. Christ could not be offended, and that is the example we should follow. That is my prayer request for all in the Catch’s realm, including me of course.
    I have tried what you say here, and it is every bit as hard as you say. I want to make this a habit, it is a work in progress. Thanks for the encouragement!

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