Sunday, 21 August 2016

Extending Grace - especially in our conversations

Today I want to talk about the wisdom of extending grace to others. I'll be honest - what I'm going to talk about isn't entirely my own thoughts! I was blessed to be able to attend a talk on this at a conference recently. What was said really impacted me so I want to share it with you, too. :)

Firstly, we need to work out exactly what grace is.

An accurate, common definition of grace is 'unmerited favour'. 

Unmerited favour. Unmerited favour. I want you to think about that line for a little bit. What does that mean? What is unmerited favour?

Unmerited favour is favour that is given for no specific reason. Undeserved. Not because of something someone else has done. True grace is not a repayment. You do not show grace because you must or because you have to.

See, if someone does something nice to me, and I do something nice back, I am not showing grace.

Why? Because it's deserved!

And true grace is undeserved. Me doing something nice IN RETURN is actually only me doing my duty. What I'm expected to do!! Grace is undeserved, unmerited favour. So if you're doing something in return, that's not grace. That's just being a normal person. Anyone can be nice to someone who is nice to them. Grace is your initiative, not your response.

True grace is undeserved. It's showing the love, kindness, and compassion of Christ to someone who is undeserving and who has not merited it. I'm repeating myself because I want you to grasp it.

But why should we show grace to others?

Because we have ourselves been shown incredible grace.

God showed the ultimate gift of grace when he sent Jesus, not because of anything WE have done, but because of his great love for us! I'm thinking of a line in the song Call it Grace by Unspoken (Link to song) which goes like this:
It's nothing less than scandalous, this love that took our place. Call it what it is, call it grace. 

There is a pattern involving God and us. It goes like this.

God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.
God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.
God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.
God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.
God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.
God shows us grace, and we forget, and grumble, and don't trust.

You could keep 'Ctrl+C'ing that line over and over again and it would still be accurate. God shows us incredible grace and just like the Israelites in the Bible, we forget, grumble and don't trust. Do we realize the extent of our own sinful, selfish tendencies? Nope!

God has shown us grace. We then must do likewise in our relationships with others. But how do we do that? And what does it look like?
There are so many different ways of showing grace. I want to focus in on one of them - showing grace through our words and in our conversations.

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace......

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Our words have incredible power. The Bible makes it clear that our conversations are to be filled with grace and for the purpose of building others up.

James 3:2-6
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Watch that your words are grace-filled.

Here are a couple of little one-liners regarding our tongues:
- Loose lips sink ships
- The less you talk the wiser you appear!
- A tongue out of control indicates a life out of control

Think before you speak!  (I'm busy thinking of all the times when I don't think before I speak and it ends me up in some very hot water!) Here's a neat little acronym you can remember. Apply it before you say something. Ask yourself, is what you are about to say:
(The first letters of those words spell THINK. Think before you speak!)

Psalm 45:2 talks about the idea of someone's lips having been anointed with grace. This is such a cool way to think of it. 
May our lips be anointed with grace and may everything we say be sprinkled with a double helping of it! :D
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  1. This was really wonderful Bonnie, words are some of the most powerful weapons we can use. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Thank you! I agree, words are incredibly powerful! :) Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. This was another really wonderful post, Bonnie! I've been thinking about this topic a lot, and even posted about it a while ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ♥

    1. Awwwww, thanks, Emily! :) It is a great topic to think about.

  3. Grace is an amazing gift from the Lord! We should have an open hand when it comes to giving grace to others because Jesus has given it so freely to us.
    Nice post Bonnie.

    Glitzy Girl

    1. Isn't it! Absolutely.
      Thanks for your encouraging words.

  4. Ah, grace is something I need to think about more. It's true, God has extended so much grace to me, the least I can do is be kind and thoughtful in my conversation..

    Thanks for this post, Bonnie! It's thought-provoking. :)

    1. Jessica, I am so thrilled my post encouraged you and provoked you to thought. Extending grace is something we all need to think about more, I think! :) Thank you for commenting.

      Blessings <3

  5. Bonnie,
    What an encouraging post. I defintely need to show more grace to others, as Christ did.
    Thank you, dear friend.

    1. Ashley, I'm so glad you were encouraged by it. I think we all need to show more grace.



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