Week Six

She Gives Others What She Needs.

Ruth 3:2-18

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‘Emotional generosity is the hardest form of generosity there is to give. It’s incredibly easy for me to write a check or donate an item, but what about not giving people what I think they deserve for how they’ve treated me?’ Nicki Koziarz speaks so much truth with these two sentences. How many of us would rather write an extra check for the offering basket than show somebody grace?

It seems this word ‘grace’ has lost a lot of it’s meaning over the years. If you Google the word you find these definitions:

  1. simple elegance or refinement of movement.
  2. (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
  3. do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence.

How did this word, in form of it being an unmerited favor, become only in reference to the free gift of salvation from God? Don’t get me wrong, this is the best meaning of the word but how did it only become a concept that is applied to what God gives us and not what God allows us to bestow on others? When did the concept of offering grace to others become so lost?

We all need grace and that is what this week has been about. Not only do we need God’s grace but we need it from each other. Showing it can be tough. People can be ugly, rude, deceptive, and the list could go on and on with exactly how undeserving humans can be. Ephesians 4:29 tells us:

You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear.

This doesn’t seem to have much to do with your own personal battle of not quitting but let’s look at the effects of what emotional grace  can offer. Many of things that make it hard to not quit stem from emotional reactions to the places we fail.

  • She accepts the assignment of refinement: This is where you are going to accept the places in your life that God needs to work. That hurts the self-esteem a bit to hear that you have areas that need refining.
  • She follows through despite how she feels: Regardless of how much it hurts, allowing God to finish the work He has started.
  • She stays open to the movement of God: No matter how scary it can be stepping where God wants you go. Taming your emotional response to fear of the unknown and stepping out in where God wants you to move.
  • She give others what she needs: This is pointing right at the emotions again. The grace you need from others when you mess up, you need to give as well. Just as Christ has forgiven you, you should forgive others (Ephesians 4:32).

You can see from the above that our steps to not quitting hinge on conquering those emotional stumbling blocks. We have been created to feel but not allowing those feelings to halt the movement of God can be one of the best lessons we can have. Not allowing the feelings of despair, guilt, self-hatred, revenge, shame stop us from moving forward and gracing others with the grace we are given as well. Showing people that their shortfalls make no difference to you is a step toward understanding that your shortfalls make no difference to God. This can be so freeing to extend grace to others that you feel have done wrong to you. Not allowing that to take root in your heart but extending that grace regardless of if an apology was anywhere to be found. Live free of the emotion of hatred or revenge that can so easily bring your race to a halt. Extend grace and finish this race (1 Corinthians 9:24).

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Habit Five: She moves forward in faith.

So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

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