Thursday, December 18, 2008
God's Grace has always fascinated me. The dictionary defines grace (in the Christian belief) as "the free and unmerited favor of God." It astounds me that we get something we don't deserve, just by being God's children. Unmerited, that means we can do nothing to earn it. It is a prize that we have won by believing in God. That's it. God's grace. How can we extend grace to those around us?
I like to use the word when talking with my children. Here is an example. My oldest son had been asking for a couple of dollars here and there to go with his friends to get a pop at our corner store. I gave it to him, never saying it had to be paid back. A little later in this same time frame, I hear him loaning his younger brother five dollars, explaining exactly when it will be paid back, and that he owed interest. Fascinating. I calmly say to him, "Let me get this straight, in the past couple of weeks, I have given you about ten dollars, and extended grace to you by not asking it to be paid back, and now you are extorting money from your brother?" He sat there for a minute absorbing the parallels and then told him brother he could have the five dollars and don't worry about paying it back.
Grace is not deserved, but granted. Sometimes in our hectic life, we need to focus on the graces given to us and what kind of grace we can give to others. It is easy to give grace to our children, we love their pointed little heads and even when they don't deserve it, we can extend grace to them. It is harder to wrap our minds around this concept when we are dealing with difficult people. I work at Starbucks. This a a "service" job. I love it. But, sometimes, in the course of a day, we get a difficult customer, my answer to their question is always, "Absolutely". Absolutely I can remake that drink, get you more soy milk, whatever. Even if they are rude, you have to put on your happy hat and kill them with kindness. Maybe I am the only person who was nice to them that day, who knows?
What can you say "absolutely" to today? If you are in a work environment, maybe you have a difficult co-worker, kill them with kindness. Be as nice as you can be. If you are a stay at home mom, put the dishes aside when your little one asks you to watch a show with them, or play a game with them, you don't get that time back. I watched "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" last night with all my kids. Let your heart grow three times too big today and extend some grace to those around you. It will make you feel awesome and it might make that difficult co-worker wonder if they could be a little nicer.
God bless you and yours.