Grace and humble pie

Day 143 Project 365

So there must be a lesson for me here.  Well, duh, I know there is because this season I am in has been all about the difficult people (me included)!

I would like to share another great devotion today that was actually posted yesterday.  The title again will link you to the original site.

Extra Grace Required

Written on May 21, 2012 by

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth.“Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Matthew 9:9

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Luke 12:48

 

Think for a moment of the people in your life you LOVE spending time with. The “go to” friends and family who are easy and fun. We all have those people in our lives that we LOVE to spend time with, the ones we choose to hang out with, the folks who get us, affirm us and stir joy in our spirits. The easy friends, the ones we thank God for.

Yeah, we’re not talking about them today.

Today, think about the others in your life.

The people in our lives who, shall we say, require extra grace. You know, the ones that are difficult. The ones we’re okay with when they don’t call, the ones who when they do call, we’d rather not talk to. I may be the only one out there who has ever ducked into the pet food aisle to avoid an inevitable conversation with someone when I don’t even OWN a pet. I may be the only one who has screened a call from a difficult one because I saw it more of an interruption rather than an opportunity. Perhaps it’s because we differ theologically; maybe we don’t appreciate their attitude; maybe they just rub us the wrong way. Maybe it’s a neighbor, fellow worshiper at church, a parent of one of your children’s friends, an in-law. These people in our lives, for any number of reasons, require extra grace and if we are honest, they are easier to avoid than to be in relationship with.

Recently, God has been asking me to specifically identify the people I struggle with, the “extra grace required” ones in my life.

Identifying was easy,  I liked identifying. In fact I had no problem telling God exactly why they were a challenge in my life. I laid out before the Lord all the people who challenge me; the ones who I’d much rather avoid than be in relationship with. I clearly communicated to Him the ones that I was certain He would agree with me about. Identifying was easy, but I had a feeling this wasn’t just an exercise in identification. God doesn’t simply identify. He stirs and moves.

See, in my quiet time God made it very clear that I am one of the “extra grace required gals.”

Ouch.

He reminded me that He is always ready and willing to give me extra grace. I require it. He made it clear that I am one of those ones who comes to the throne daily with the same issues and struggles in need of  the extra grace I often avoid giving freely to others.

Ouch again.

Here’s the hard truth; I am a sinner who has been redeemed. If I turn myself inside out, I see exactly what I’ve been saved from. I plainly see the “extra grace required” to deal with me. I take all my fears and failures to the cross where I have been forgiven and Jesus tolerates me when I backslide into the very battles of pride, idolatry and greed that I know I’ve been saved in. He tolerates me when I bring up the same issues over and over again. He tolerates me when I am immovable and arrogant. He takes my phone call and doesn’t run to the nearest aisle simply to avoid me.

If He tolerates me, and His Spirit lives in me, how can I not pause on the road of life for the “extra grace required” people in my life?

I believe in a Gospel that preaches the words found in Luke 12:48;

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Indeed much has been given to me. I have been saved and I am forevermore the recipient of extra grace. Therefore, I should then be the one; one who has chosen to be a “follower,” dolling out extra grace by the bucketful. I’m grateful that the Lord pricked my heart on this one. Pricked it so hard it hurt, pricked it in places I’d rather not have looked.

Extra grace.

It’s required, of you and me.

It’s Monday. A fresh week. A brand new day. Make the list for yourself. Your own personal “extra grace required” list. Don’t leave anyone off, and then do as He does.

Move.

Listen.

Pray.

Be.

Give what you have been given.

Extra grace.

 

**As always if there is a person in your life who is abusive or asking thing of you that are not Biblical, we encourage you to seek wise counsel of a pastor or Christian counselor.

WOW!  SO yeah this was for me.  It is Tuesday, I am starting my list with my name at the TOP!  Making a cup of tea and cutting a slice of “humble pie!” and thankful, so thankful that His GRACE is all-sufficient.

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