Well friends, there’s something that’s been on my mind for the past few months, and I think it’s time to start a conversation.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…
Yep. That right there is amazing grace. More than just the words to a beautiful, old hymn, that one sentence sums up my life and the experience I’ve had with my Creator. And trust me when I say, it’s nothing short of amazing!
You know what’s not amazing grace though? Grace that is withheld from those around us.
As a believer in Christ, and a personal beneficiary of the most amazing grace that the planet has ever known, where do I get the idea that I can be a full-on receiver of this undeserved grace, yet one who withholds grace from those it’s due? And it’s not just me. If you’re honest with yourself, it very well could be you too. (And if not you, then definitely someone you know, right?)
I cringe at the condemning, judgemental voices of other Jesus followers, who are quick to receive Christ’s goodness, and are brimming with self-justification in their stance to stop the flow of grace in it’s tracks. Aren’t we supposed to love others as we’ve been loved? Aren’t we supposed to forgive as we’ve been forgiven? As a Christian, the most important things on our to-do lists are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourself.
- Love the Lord.
Well that one’s easy. After all, I am the receiver of amazing grace!
- Love others as I love myself.
Jesus didn’t give us three commands there. He did’t say, “Love God. Love others. Love yourself.” He said Love God, and love others the way you love yourself. If I don’t see myself through Christ’s eyes, then I can’t love myself purely. Either I magnify the strengths and minimize the weaknesses, or I magnify the weaknesses and minimize the strengths. Neither one magnifies Christ in me.
With this perspective, perhaps the lack of grace isn’t tied to looking at others actions or words and passing a judgement at all. What if that is simply a symptom to the diseased view we have of ourselves? What if the amazing grace of Jesus truly transformed the way we view ourselves? Then loving others and extending grace were it’s needed most would become an overflow of the abundance of grace that consumes us everyday.
I’d love your thoughts about this. Do you think there’s something to this line of thinking, or does it sound a little nuts to you? Please comment, either on this post, or on the social media link you found this on. Or shoot me an email… I’d love to have a conversation about the not so amazing side of grace.