Everyday Grace

A few days ago Richard and I were at a local buffet when I noticed a sour faced woman sitting with her husband at a nearby table.  When I smiled in her direction her frown stayed firmly in place,  I thought to myself, Wow!  What a sour puss! She must be a delight to live with.

When Richard stood and announced he was going back for peach cobbler, she called across the aisle.  “Make it al a mode.”  I seconded her suggestion.  By the time he returned from the dessert buffet table, the lady was talking up a storm to me.  Her face lit up as she told us about dealing her autistic grandchild, her other 11 gifted and talented grandchildren that lived with her part of the time, and about each of her three brave sons serving in the military.  I came away humbled.  I had totally misjudged her.  I’d looked on her outward appearance but God gave me a glimpse of her heart. Ouch! How I needed a touch of everyday grace that day.

Recently I heard some of my brothers and sisters called Watered-down Christians.  What is a watered-down Christian?  Where on the Christian-meter does a watered-down Christian stand?  Next to backslider? Two steps from a heathen?  I played with the idea and came up with terms like calcified Christians–those whose spiritual tolerance has hardened with age; or marinated Christians, those who stew in the latest juicy spiritual or social issue; or freeze-dried Christians, those trapped in the church of their childhood? Maybe you can come up with a few more…

And then in my worship, I read from Luke 6. (Message) “It’s the I-know-better-than-you mentality–playing holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part… ”  How long will it take before God’s people [meaning me] stop labeling one another and judging one another?  How long will it take for me to grant my sister, my brother-in-Christ the same everyday grace and mercy I have come to enjoy from my Father?  Romans 14:10 NIV says, “You then, do not judge your brother.  Or why do you look down on your brother?  For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat…”

Please Lord, forgive me for setting myself up as judge and jury for my fellow family members, including the one who uttered the derogatory term.  Teach me to grant everyday grace–no judgement, no censure, no insinuations–to each of your precious children.

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