In different ways, both Paul (Ephesians 3) and Peter (1 Peter 4) speak of us as being stewards of God's grace.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)Now, if you read that causally, please read that again.
... we are stewards of God's grace? Not just our financing, how we spend our time, or how we serve in general; but we are called to be good stewards of His grace. Money is easy to part with (comparatively speaking), time can be scheduled, but grace comes from within.
If that does not cause a believer to pause and tremble at the responsibility and weight of His precious gift to us I don't know what will.
This is not the Grace of God that is given freely for salvation, only He can do that. Though there is a gift of grace from God that should be seen in us as Christians; something that we carry in order to share. We are forgiven so that we can forgive others.
an enemysomeone who is also loved by God fails you, hurts you, denies you, mocks you; do you meet them with pride, or Grace?
- When your
disobedient kidschildren that God gave you aren't responding the way you would like to your leadership; do you meet them with pride, or Grace?
- When your spouse
that just doesn't understandthat you were blessed with and committed to being with until you die isn't meeting your perceived needs; do you meet them with pride, or Grace?
- When a decision (albeit biblical one) is being made at church by
some that don't understanda prayerful leadership team and is causing you frustration; do you meet that with pride, or Grace?
- When that
annoying personindividual at work approaches you with the same question, or continued arrogance, or unkind behavior; do you meet that with pride, or Grace?
- When your
stupid jobplace of employment that supports your family causes you to work a bit more than you expected; do you meet that with pride, or Grace?
Before you jump to a conclusion that I'm preaching, let me remind you that this site is my journal first, and blog second. With many things in my personal, occupational, and Spiritual life that I'm struggling with, I find pride creeping up far more than grace.
When I look in the mirror I see all too often a crown on my head, not a cross on my shoulder. Pride seems to be winning over grace, and too often I find a face of stress, not a cheerful giver and laborer. Often His Path for us is a simple step away, yet I stand and pout waiting to be carried to my next milestone.
I've been in pits before, and there is always a Hand reaching down to lift me up, but I all too often try to find clever ways of climbing out of the pit myself. Scratching and clawing at walls, building fancy contraptions, possibly using other things or individuals to step on as I climb out, but I never find the top. I never can escape from what seems like a bottomless pit. Yet when I take hold of the Helping Hand that is reaching toward me, I seem to step out with almost no effort. Unfortunately the scrapes and bruises I suffered trying to get myself out have left its impact, but the Helping Hand turns into a Healing Hand to work on that as well.
Yet ... I stubbornly sit far too long in my pit of self. Why does it take me so long to cast off that stupid crown? ... it's not even comfortable ...
His all too often stubborn child,