“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29
For the past ten days, I have been contemplating God’s grace to us and how we, in turn, can extend grace to others.
We naturally do just the opposite. We see and tell people how they should change and improve rather than encourage them in what they are doing right. We are impatient with a clerk who is slow in serving us, and we point out faults in our spouse and children. We slander our co-workers and pastors. How can we become gracious — more like Jesus is with us?
In his book Putting a Face on Grace, Richard Blackaby has some tips for us:
• Speak words intended to build up, not to bring down.
• Focus on the needs of others, rather than your own.
• Freely forgive.
• Swallow you pride and say, “I’m sorry,” and “I was wrong.”
• Live your life with a goal of “no regrets.”
• Don’t keep score of what is fair.
• Don’t condemn or give up on people.
• Emphasize mercy, not justice.
• Read 1 Corinthians 13 regularly.
And always keep in mind that it is God’s Spirit within us who will change us into becoming people who extend grace to others.
Father, you continually show grace to your children no matter how many times we mess up. Thank you so much. We don’t deserve your love. Enable us, through the power of your Holy Spirit, to become people of grace. Amen.
by Katherine J Kehler