The Death of Grace

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Comparison is the death of contentment"? That saying has always stuck with me over the years. It drives home the point that when we compare our lives, abilities, or possessions to someone else's we are bound to become disgruntled.

Recently I was working through a Bible study on the prophets and came across another profound statement...this time on the death of grace. Grace is my Word of the Year for 2011. I have been focusing on how to give grace to others and for that matter how to accept it from God. Of course, as God would have it the need for grace has popped up all over the place since I picked the word! Don't you just love God? He really knows how to drive home a point! This year has been an extreme struggle to work through forgiveness for someone that attends my church. It is a battle. I know that I need to forgive and show grace to this person. My whole intent is to do just that, and yet, it doesn't come easy. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is definitely weak in this area!

So back to the statement on the death of grace. What would cause its death? What sin would make grace impossible? To answer that question, you really have to think about what grace is. It is favor towards a person that doesn't deserve it. It is saying, "I know what you did, and yet I am going to show you kindness and love." In order to do this I have found that I am having to give up my rights, my position, my entitlements to put the other person ahead of myself. It is a tough thing to do. Putting the other person first means that I have to humble myself. Being humble means that I have to get rid of my pride. You see, Pride is the death of Grace.

Think about it. If I look on someone else and say...

"I would never do what she did."

"How could he have done that?"

"What was she thinking?"

Or my favorite Pharisee version,
"God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evildoers, adulterers- or even like this tax collector." {Luke 18:11}

...I will never be able to give them grace! It is when I humble myself...when I realize that I am just like them that I can give grace to those who need it...even to those who have trespassed against me.

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