Wednesday, August 17, 2011


In the past few years, it seems that so many more Christians have been talking about grace.  And that is wonderful and beautiful.  Yet my heart breaks when I see how little we treat others with that same grace we have been given.  The attitudes toward people we disagree with– sometimes mockery and derision, and sometimes even outright disgust and cruelty.  The way we talk about people behind their backs– or even to their faces, while patting ourselves on the back for being willing to “tell it like it is.”  The way we respond when our children act like children, immature and in need of guidance.

So little grace seasons our everyday interactions.  So little patience, so little kindness, so little understanding.  I imagine it must break God’s heart that the very people who should most understand and live out grace often fail to reflect grace in our daily lives.

Please don’t think I’m sitting around pointing fingers.  I see these very same tendencies and failures in myself, and it bothers me deeply.  I want so much to be more consistently Christlike in my responses.  I want God’s grace and patience to be reflected in me.

I wonder sometimes, if we (myself included!) habitually– even proudly– live our lives interacting with others in ways that do not reflect God’s grace… do we truly understand and embrace the grace of God and its significance?

My prayer is that grace will take hold in Christians’ hearts– and in my own heart– in such a way that we cannot withhold it from others.  I pray that we would recognize the times we are not reflecting God’s grace and that we will be humble and repentant.  I pray that God will awaken something within us all that makes us deeply desire to be more like him.  I pray that God will give us the eyes to see others the way he sees them, and that grace will pour forth.

I pray that the words of Saint Patrick will ring true in my own life, and in the lives of others who have been changed by God’s grace:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

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