Monday, April 23, 2012

Opportunities for Grace

Hi Everyone!  Sorry I haven't written in a little while but as stated before I write when the Holy Spirit prompts me to and I don't want to just write for the sake of keeping up my blog.  I want to write when God tells me he has something to share with everyone.

I've been encountering a lot of opportunities for grace in my life in the past week.  I'm sure you are all aware of God's grace and his forgiveness to each of us here on earth but do you think about the times that you have the ability to show His grace to others?  In my walk I have always said I want to be more like him, one of those qualities that Jesus has is the ability to give grace to others.

In Sunday school this week with my five year old kids the theme was Proverbs 17:17 - "A friend loves at all times..."  The focus was on the fact that even after we have done something bad, God still wants to be our friend and loves us.

When I review my nursery lessons I try to treat it as a devotional time with God.  I ask that he speaks into my life through the lesson so that I can speak into the kid's lives on his behalf.  When reviewing the concept of Proverbs 17:17 God asked me to examine my friendships.  He asked me if I have loved my friends at all times or if I have ever pulled away from them.  He also asked me to look at all of my relationships in the same manner.

There are a lot of times, whether at work, in the nursery, with my husband,  or with my family, that I have the opportunity to offer grace and don't.  For example, when my boss is frustrating me am I graceful in receiving criticism or am I graceful in the way I approach the daily tasks at hand?  With the five year old kids I work with, (we all know that they can really challenge your willingness to give grace) am I living this verse out with them throughout teaching the lesson?  Do I discipline them out of love or do I discipline them out of frustration?  With my husband, am I graceful in understanding that there are times when neither of us feel like doing the dishes or keeping up on the chores but we both have to be willing to assist in them? With my family, am I understanding of the different life phases that we are all going through?  Do I offer grace when we have a difference of opinion or do I get easily angered?  I hate to list all this stuff out but I wanted to share with you scenarios in my life that sometimes require grace on my part that I don't necessarily feel like sharing.

Last week I had the opportunity to pray with my boss when the Holy Spirit called me to do so.  My boss showed my grace in accepting the prayer willingly and not looking down upon faith in the work place.  In negotiation with family members about a job for my husband, I was able to be graceful and let him take over the negotiations.  I showed grace in trusting his judgment.  With a five year old in Sunday school, I prayed with her over a boo boo she got (after not listening to me) jumping from one chair to the other.  Rather than scold her, I took the opportunity to lift the boo boo pain to Jesus.  I am actively choosing to love at all times.

I received grace from a friend this weekend when I confessed my competitive childish nature toward something specific.  She forgave me.  I received grace the other night from my husband when I told him I just didn't feel like doing the dishes.  

What opportunities do you have in your daily life to offer grace to others?   Have you had the opportunity to pray with someone?  Have you had the opportunity to offer a helping hand?  Have you had the opportunity to forgive someone?  What can you do to be more like Christ and offer grace in your day to day life?

There is one more thing I would like you to think about today.  When have other people offered you grace when you may not have deserved it?  Each of us struggle at times and there are plenty of people in this world, most importantly God, who offer us grace and forgiveness more times than we can count.  Is it time you returned the favor?

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