Grace is love freely given, with no restrictions and no demands on the person who is loved. Grace chooses to accept and respect other people simply because they are part of God’s creation, made in God’s image, and because God loves them. Grace is not only God’s gift to us individually, but our gift to other people.
God’s path of grace winds gracefully through the woods of this world filled with the sounds of people crying out for simple respect and for love freely given.
Gracious thoughts flow more freely for me now than ten years ago. I confess to a natural tendency to be critical of people, to see them do something “wrong” and to quickly “know” what they “should” do. Because I am naturally passive, I usually would not tell them, unless they asked. But the thoughts and judgments were there.
As a child I learned what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not judge” and “First take the log out of your own eye so you can see clearly to take the splinter out of your neighbor’s eye.” Yet I did not live up to those words. Judgments, even condemnations, came easily.
In the past ten years, an important path of my journey has been to move toward grace, toward love freely given, toward a non-judgmental and gracious attitude toward other people. It is not an easy path to walk.
THE GRACE OF GOD
We hear grace in these words from John’s gospel: God did not send [the] Son into the world to con-demn the world, but to save [heal] the world through him. [John 3:17] God loved the world and sent light into the darkness of this world because of divine grace, as a gift because of God’s own choice and not because of anything we had done. This is the gospel of grace.
If some choose not to accept that grace and choose not to come into the light of God’s love, they are like people given a wrapped present who set it down and never open it and never enjoy it. … Continue reading here