Monday, May 18, 2009

More Thoughts on Grace

When we afford another person grace in the face of their obvious imperfections and wrong-doings, we are being merciful. We are extending them pardon and affirming them in our love for and acceptance of them even when they disappoint or hurt us. The dictionary defines grace as mercy; clemency; pardon.

But grace is not just about mercy. It is also about beauty. The word grace is further defined as beauty of form, manner, motion or action.

This kind of physical grace is most obvious in the dance. The movements of a trained ballet dancer appear fluid, effortless and astounding in their beauty. The passion and heart of the dancer are translated through his or her movements to those who are watching, and their hearts are pierced.

Spiritual grace, when lovingly extended to another, also appears fluid, effortless and astounding in its beauty. And the passion and heart of God is translated through such obedience to the lost world who is watching, and their hearts are pierced.

James 4:6 says that "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." The grace of God is poured out on those who chose to live a life of humility, and it is a choice. Further down in James, verse 10, it says, "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." Humility is a choice. Every moment of every day. The correlation between humility and grace is unmistakable. It is impossible to extend grace to others if you are walking in pride. God is in opposition to those who live in pride and only pours out grace on the humble. If He is unable to pour out His grace in your life, then you won't have it to extend to others. At all. Ever.

When I find myself devoid of grace for another, I can only assume that pride is at work in my life, and God cannot cooperate with me in that state. He opposes me. And we see this reality spread like cancer in churches everywhere. But He is calling us, wooing us, to return to Him in humility and confess our sin of pride that we might be healed, cleansed and filled with His beautiful, tender grace. And as our lives reflect this intimate dance of beauty with the Father, the gaze of the world will be inextricably drawn to Him. Just as it should be.


Ari May 18, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

Wow- that was great! SO good to see you this weekend... Love you~