Sunday, April 1, 2018

Are You a Grace-Giver?

By Andrea Merrell

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. 
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 6:37 NIV

The first thought that shot through my mind when I saw the girl was, do you even own a mirror?

The next was maybe that’s the best she has. Then, maybe no one ever taught her how to dress properly and modestly. And finally, maybe she’s starved for attention and this is all she knows to do. Pray for her.

Ouch! I quickly repented of my critical attitude.

My grandparents always told me not to judge, make fun of, or look down on anyone. “Except for the grace of God, that could be you,” they said.

The Bible says “judge not.” Why? In order that we won’t be judged in return. So, how do we overcome a judgmental attitude and a critical spirit? By extending grace.

The truth is everyone messes up. But when we set high, unrealistic standards for others to live up to, we set them up for failure—at least in our own eyes. It’s that whole idea of removing a tiny splinter from another person’s eye when we have a stack of firewood in ours.

The Lord told Paul, “my grace is sufficient.” And it’s sufficient for us as well, both as the giver and the receiver. Pastor and author Bob Gass says, “When you take it upon yourself to condemn others, you are denying them the same grace you may need before the day is over.”

God gave freely so we might do the same. I need His grace, so I must extend it to others.

How about you? Are you a grace-giver?

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)

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