Monday, January 17, 2011

On Extending Grace

I heard this yesterday, as part of a liturgy from a congregation to new church members:

"We will not act as though you have to earn your way in."

Beautiful... it touched my heart in a significant way regarding a situation I’m currently going through, that I am not at liberty to talk about here, but this got me thinking…

How hard do you make it for people to earn their way into your company, your organization, your circle of friends, your family, your life, your heart?

What if grace came first, followed closely by support and trust?

How judgmental are you of the actions, attitudes, emotions, situations, history, and words of others?

How would it feel to engage the world with more grace, more love, more openness?

These are things that a single statement made me think about. I have come to realize that I’ve been judgmental of a close friend of mine, for some mistakes and bad choices he has made in the past. I’ve been working hard to make him earn his way back into my life, and it hit me yesterday that he deserves my grace.

I’ve screwed up, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve done a bad job at some things, but that doesn’t make me a bad person, a bad woman, a bad volunteer, a bad employee, a bad human.

It just means I am not a robot, and I don’t have it all figured out, and that’s kind of what living is all about, isn’t it?

So, I ask you… on this, Martin Luther King, Jr. day of celebration and reflection: where can you extend more grace?

Who do you feel least deserves grace?

Chances are, that’s the person who needs it most.


  1. Beautiful sentiment, beautifully written! Earlier in my life, I'm not sure I had a clue about consciously considering grace -- even though I extended it at times, it was mostly by accident or nature and I never really thought about it. I think I also thought of it as a purely religious term. Now I try hard to consciously extend grace -- though I'm not so great at it at times, I think having the deliberate intention has changed my life and blessed me with a lot of grace as well.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking reminder!

  2. It's always the one who needs it most. I learned that the hard way many years ago, and I forced my self to love someone I "hated." Big lesson.

    These days I still need the reminder, as I find myself sitting in judgment over another friend, though I know I have no right. Thanks for the post, LindaLee, for the reminder.

  3. YES, indeed, when I ask the question of who I am judging most harshly, the answer is usually... myself.

    You bring up an excellent point, though... lots of people deserve grace, but that doesn't mean we have to give in on our own boundaries that keep us healthy, safe, and loved. <3