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Friday, November 12, 2010

Grace

Grace is hard.  It is much easier to follow a path of judging than it is to live in grace and extend grace.  I’ve been a pretty good judge in my life, having this amazing ability to know the motives, intentions and stories of people’s lives from just the smallest of details or the slightest whiff of rumor.  I have then very sanctimoniously become prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer.  I remember once hearing about a popular Christian recording artist who got a divorce.  Having absolutely no knowledge about this person’s life, I judged them not worthy to listen to anymore.  It is easy to judge.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. ”  ~ Jesus (Matthew 7:1–2, ESV)

Judging others is the great destroyer of community.  When we judge, we assign motive to the hearts of others and we determine those motives are evil. And then we condemn.  What more effective way to destroy relationships than that?  The thing is, it happens in all arenas of life – family, work, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, little league, ballet, etc, etc.

If someone does something I don't like, it is much easier to justify my poor treatment of them by hanging labels like "stupid", "greedy", "lazy", "incompetent", "worthless", etc, etc.

So what do we do? 

On the wall of our church it says:
Free to be who we are…being transformed into all God created us to be.”
It is a statement of grace.  It is the recognition that as we come to Jesus, none of us is perfect, none of us is without our edges, our faults, our sin, our hurts and our ability to hurt others.  But as we pursue God, he is transforming us.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ” (2 Corinthians 3:17–18, ESV)

We don’t need to judge one another, we need to be people of grace that don’t assign motive to others actions.  We need to see irritations, misunderstandings and disappointments as opportunities to pray for each other and to grow in our grace quotient.

Judgment is easy.  Grace is hard.  That is why we need to be experiencing the God of grace through Jesus so we can be the people of grace through Jesus. 

For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. ” (1 Corinthians 4:4–5, ESV)


David

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