After finishing up my very brain-numbing/lengthy/convicting study on 'Love' I decided I might have to break it down a bit and focus on one thing at a time. I can only get rid of bad habits by replacing them with good ones! I can't even say that I will pick a new topic each day because it might take me longer for some to sink in... especially for this first one!
The first explanation of what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4 states that 'Love is patient' & oh how I dread taking a closer look at this word, but know deep in my heart it's so very necessary & will be so rewarding to my health & relationships once I get a better handle on it.
I don't know what makes me think things will go better for me if I get all tense & stressed & angry over something ridiculous or why I snap at my 2 year old for something she didn't even know was wrong in the first place or why I bark at my husband to just do everything 'my way'... I think it would help if I had a better understanding of 'Grace,' actually!
A great verse on grace comes from Ephesians 2:8 which says "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." The word grace here comes from the word 'charis' - which means: That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness - good will, loving-kindness, favor - thanks.
If I consider the way this verse is put together (via NASB) I can see that grace is a gift. Grace is to be given to others by the way we treat them & so this is what 'giving grace to others' means to me:
- Respond with kindness
- Forgive easily
- Don't rush into anger
- Avoid speaking in a condescending manner
- Consider other's needs, feelings, & comfort above your own
- Don't be judgmental
- Remember that the power of life & death is in the tongue
- Apologize when you know you got it wrong
- Think before you speak/respond - take a breath!
- Have patience!
I'm sure there are many more ways, but these are what came to my mind first. Having patience with others is a way of showing grace to them. Since grace is a gift from God (His saving grace), when you're giving grace to others you are showing them Christ! In the same sense if you are withholding grace/patience, you are showing others the opposite of God... which would be... satan... OUCH!!! Something to consider I guess huh?!
Remember to say grace often (give thanks to God) & give grace to others (be patient & kind & selfless).
A prayer for us: "God I ask that you would be with each of us that takes in this message. That the truth would sink in and stick for good and anything not of You would fall away. Our heart's desire is to be an example of Your goodness, Your grace! Help us to do this and consider how You would respond to every situation we face throughout the day... with love. In Your name Lord, Amen."
- Bless you! -
(If you need a giggle, listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kn6Z2Mop5I)