The most wonderful concept in the Christian faith is “grace”.
This, we believe, is the unmerited favor of God that is extended toward believers by faith.
We receive this free gift by faith, then extend it toward others in our earthly relationships.
I’m big on grace.
Except when I’m not…
For grace to do all it’s work it must be received as well as given, not just from God, but from other people.
I can too often be utterly graceless.
Let me explain…
Somewhere in my top five goals in life is “being left alone”.
I worship at the altars of my own “strength” and “independence”.
They are false gods as I’m neither very strong, nor very independent at this stage of my life.
The altars remain.
When I was scheduled for a procedure at the hospital last week, a lot of people offered help.
Did I need a ride there?
Did I need a ride home?
Can we bring you something?
Anything we can do?
Seeking help from others makes me cringe, receiving help from others, ashamed.
The root of this sin is probably grounded in life experiences, but it’s proper name is still “pride”.
I have often convinced myself that this is a noble sin as it is grounded in some cultural virtue and it harms no one but me.
This too, is a lie.
Grace only grows through exchange.
When we deny others the opportunity to extend the grace they have been given by refusing to receive it… we shrink both their souls and our own.
We diminish the work of the cross in the lives of others and deny it’s importance to ourselves when we refuse to receive it.
We rob others of the joy of giving and steal blessings meant for their soul.
We keep our pride intact, but leave hearts in shambles.
We end up unable to extend grace, because you can only give what you have already received.
It is, in a way, a denial of the faith, for without grace the faith is empty.
I need to repent.
It will be difficult as I will have to ask God for the grace to do so.
I hate asking anyone for anything…
Make your own application…