Did you ever notice how God likes to use your own words to challenge you?
This month I’ve been teaching lessons to my Sunday School class about GRACE – “getting something great that you don’t deserve.” The lessons are not my own. They are from a curriculum called 252basics. Anyway, this word, “grace,” was spoken to me by a good friend today. My friend had no idea that we were studying grace, or that the word, alone, would impact me as it did.
People are complicated. Relationships are complicated. Living in this world, and brushing up against people on a regular basis causes conflict. And today I found myself in the midst of one. Did I handle it well? I can only say, “I tried.” But this conflict has driven me to my knees in prayer. How do I show grace to someone who seems to constantly try to hurt me? How do I love them when I don’t feel that they deserve it? Maybe they don’t even want my love.
Christ loved the people who nailed Him to the cross. He showed grace even as he healed the ear of the soldier who came to arrest him. God showed me grace by offering me a salvation that I do not deserve. He loved me before I loved Him, and even layed down His life for me. This is the truest picture of grace.
Do I believe that I could ever accomplish a love like that, or a grace that is so amazing?
Only by God’s grace!
The ability to give love is a gift in itself. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit whose power resides in me. That’s how I know that it can be done!
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
If I could alter an old adage, I would say, “Relationships are fragile. Handle with prayer.” That is what I am doing today, praying for God’s grace and love to flow through me in this relationship. I would love it if you would join with me in this prayer. I can use all the help I can get.
My friend, Shelley Gallamore, has been blogging about conflict management all this month. If you find yourself in a conflict, you may want to check it out at: http://www.shelleygallamore.com/