Give The Gift Of Grace Today

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Have I ever told you about the one day I threw a wrench into an already messy family environment when I bid a fond farewell to the Catholic church and decided to continue following Jesus without a denomination? This news was bigger than Watergate in my household.

My dear mom swore she could hear our ancestors rolling over in their graves for my injustice! I tried to calm her nerves by affirming that I was not breaking up with God, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit for that matter. The Trinity was still cool; I just felt the Lord calling me in a different direction. But no matter how hard I tried, my explanations were never good enough. Being un-Catholic was just unacceptable. It drove a huge wedge into an already messy relationship.

Extend more grace, less judgment to others today.

My mom passed away several years ago. And she certainly wouldn’t have won any ‘mother of the year’ awards while she was alive. She had her struggles and her flaws. *don’t we all!* She was emotionally abusive and an alcoholic. She was cold and impersonal. On the outside, she was put together, a high-level executive beloved by her church and the community. On the inside, she was a total mess. *just like the rest of us!*

In her defense, she came from a very abusive home environment, and I’m not sure she was ever shown real love as a child. I’m not sure she ever laid those heavy burdens of hers down at the foot of the Cross, even though she spent a large portion of her adult life serving others, the Church and our Lord.

My mom thought I was in a cult (a bible based non-denominational church). I thought she was totally missing the boat on redemption and salvation and a personal relationship with Christ. But the reality is, we both got hung up on things that tore us apart and built walls, instead of coming together with the things we had in common: our love for Jesus.

Only Jesus knows the true state of our hearts.

We both gave praise and glory to God our Father. We both served our church and our community. We both were (I still am) broken creations in need of a Savior; humbled and awed by the beautiful sacrifice Christ made on the Cross for our salvation. We had a lot more in common than we ever realized.

We are called to love, not to judge.

If I had a ‘do-over day,’ I would go back and make some of those conversations right. I would have showered her with grace, instead of banging her up for her beliefs. I could have been more civil and allowed her to explore her convictions with me, instead of jumping down her throat and telling her she was theologically off the mark. Being aggressive and “right” as I defended my convictions didn’t get us anywhere, except build a bridge between us that was miles long.

As we continue to meet people who are at different places in their walk with the Lord, I pray that we will extend the courtesy they deserve as children of God.

The type of courtesy I desired from my mom. The type of courtesy I should have given her.

We need to uphold God’s truth and His word always. We need to share the gospel with unbelievers in our churches and our community. And we can do this with courtesy, love and a listening ear, instead of condemnation, judgment and a need to be “right.”

Heavenly Father, today I pray we will strive to look past our church labels and see people for all that You desire them to be. I pray we will get to know one another’s hearts and choose to discuss all the beautiful and marvelous ways that You are working in our lives. I pray we do not get so caught up in the type of church building that we worship in or the theological viewpoints that we hold dear. {*there are Biblical limitations to this of course.*} At the end of the day, Father, I hope You will be able to say ‘well done good and faithful servant,’ if we are able to help each other strengthen our personal relationship with Jesus and learn to love one another as Christ loves His church.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ John 13: 34-35 ~

Spiritual food for thought

How can you strive to be more courteous to the people God places in your path today, including other Jesus followers that have different theological viewpoints?

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1 thought on “Give The Gift Of Grace Today”

  1. D McDonald

    I think when I told them I was reading a Bible and going to Bible study and an evangelical church instead of the RC church I might have well have said I was a felon and they might have taken it more easily at least not threatened to throw me out of the house. I do understand. Sometimes as you spoke above we need to start with the common ground with the RC’s. JESUS died on the cross, HE rose and HE lives today. The HOLY SPIRIT was left on the earth when JESUS ascended as our Helper….start there and go to having a personal relationship with HIM instead of hitting them over the head about the pope and Mary and so forth.

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