I once read a quote (in a book I was editing, coincidentally) that totally shook my foundation. In essence, it said this:
If you are personally offended, it's usually because you think you deserve more than you actually do.The idea is that, If I get all wound up, righteously indignant on my own behalf, 99 times out of 100, I've forgotten that what I actually deserve is death, as a punishment for my sin. I have neglected to remember that any kindness, grace and mercy is a undeserved bonus that has been graciously given to me by Christ. I do not deserve it, He does. I did not purchase it, He did. I do not deserve respect, service, courtesy, forgiveness, honor, He does. That He lovingly shares these things with me should be treasured around every bend.
This concept changed the way I looked at everything, even customer service. I do not have the inalienable right to be waited on quickly, politely, and properly. God does. I am allowed to hope for it, I am allowed to have it, I am even allowed to request it, but I cannot at any time pretend to think I have it coming to me. Because do I really want to start playing the "Give me what I have coming to me" game? That could get uuuuuuuugggggggglllllllllyyyyyyy quick.
Yesterday, I had amnesia in this area again. I got my heart all riled up wanting someone to "give me the common courtesy of the benefit of the doubt." As I was stewing on this, I got madder and madder. I am trustworthy! I silently roared, as I pounded my fist on the table mentally. My character should speak for itself! I internally shouted. Then a whisper.
To whom much is given, much is expected.What? Grace? Are we going to talk about grace, Lord? Well, that's good. 'Cause I think that someone is lacking in the grace department, 'cause I don't see that person handing out a drop of grace, and clearly some is expected."
MY grace is sufficient for you.Wow. I uh, never thought of that scripture that way. So, I don't need to be stomping around demanding grace from others? I should be satisfied with the grace You have given? What if his person doesn't recognize the truth? Do I educate them? About how trustworthy I am, how my charact... (thinking to my self now: do I really want to tell God how trustworthy I am? Do I really think I can fool Him into thinking my character is so impeccable it is pure sin for others to question it? Do I really want to pull on that thread?)
...Nevermind, Lord. I remember now how You responded when others questioned your character in the final events leading up to your crucifixion. That amazing sacrifice You made for me. You had every right to defend Yourself. You had every right to blast them for daring to insinuate You are anything but the Almighty. Yet, You were silent.
I hear You, sweet Jesus. Your grace is enough for me. I'll let you do the work that needs to be done. I'll extend that grace. Without limitations. Without a struggle. I know I can trust that You will take it from there.
Because You are the One who is worthy of trust. You are the One whose character speaks for itself.
Your grace is enough for me.
Each time He said,
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
2 Corinthians 12:9