Graceful. What do you think of when you hear that word?
Many equate that term with a vision of glamour. Maybe a cool, collected woman with class who knows how to win over the love of people. A certain way she dresses, behaves, and reacts.
It is the reacting that comes to mind when I hear that someone is graceful. I envision a person who has been hurt. Emotionally torn apart and betrayed. Rather than react with hatred and anger, the person in mind responds with grace and dignity.
That might be very different from what many view as the meaning of the word, but my understanding of that word stems from my understanding of what grace means from a Christian perspective.
When Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, that was grace. He bestowed grace upon us as He suffered. He was beaten beyond understanding, betrayed by one He loved, murdered for crimes He did not commit, and never once did he respond with hatred.
Now, Christians understand that Jesus is God’s begotten Son. Of course He wouldn’t respond that way! But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an immense lesson for us to learn from it.
Though we are grateful for grace, can we exemplify it in our own lives?
When we are wronged, do we truly forgive?
When we feel we have been treated unfairly, do we become angry and dissatisfied? Upset that we didn’t get what we deserved? After all, look at how hard we have worked!
There is one answer to that- look at how hard Christ worked. He spent 3 years of His life preaching, teaching, putting in an amazing effort and look what was done to Him. Yet, He responded with grace.
Our job is to follow Him. His ways, His teachings, and His forgiveness of His persecutors, others, and ourselves.
He not only forgave what was done to Him that day, He prayed for His murderers!
How often are we graceful enough to pray for those that hurt us….and mean it?
Not because it’s what we are supposed to do but because we really want them to be saved? We want them to receive Gods help?
It isn’t easy. If you think it is than you are either very well practiced or you might be deceiving yourself. We must let go of pride and sometimes our own ideals about worth. But it can be done.
We will slip up, we will make mistakes. But that’s no reason to ever give up trying to be graceful.
In the current book I am writing, there is a character who is struggling with this-big time. She is prideful and unforgiving of what has happened in her life. She feels she is truly independent enough to handle it all. One thing she eventually learns is what most of us learn with enough prayer. That not only can she not handle it all, but why would she want to? Why suffer when the Lord is there to lighten your load?
Sometimes it is not just other people we must be graceful towards, but God as well.
And those are my thoughts on being graceful!
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