I don’t deserve that – He doesn’t deserve that – What makes them think they deserve that?
Part of the human ego is a clear sense of what is fair. We get bent out of shape when we feel that someone is getting an unreasonable break, and we are not.
Giving what others deserve and getting what we deserve is what we are most comfortable with. But grace is receiving what I don’t deserve, and giving what is not deserved. Grace goes against our human nature that demands fairness, but instead offers forgiveness and blessings.
Last year, on April 6th, a tractor trailer hit a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team – 16 were killed and 13 injured. How people reacted to this accident became a study in showing, or withholding grace. Some wanted the driver to be severely punished and then deported, while others wanted the driver to be forgiven.
A key element in showing grace is recognizing when and how grace is shown to you. Lysa Terkeutst, a public speaker and writer, has said, “I give grace because I so desperately need it.” How many times have we said or done something that others might take offence with, yet they showed us grace? How many times has someone stepped in to clean up our mess, and has shown us grace? How about our families? How often have they let things slide rather than calling us on all our problem and mistakes?
This is grace.
How can we show grace to those we work with and those we work for? The secret is the Golden Rule, “treating others the way we would want to be treated” – this is grace in action. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to “talk in such a way as to build up others, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Later Paul writes “Be kind to one another, full of grace, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.
Grace expressed in both speech and action – that is what THHS needs as we continue to be “The Hand of God, in the Heart of the City”
Major David Oldford
Director of Spiritual Care
May we show similar grace to all we interact with today.