Sharing God’s grace (2)
We can sometimes be intolerant of people who don’t fit a certain standard that we think is the right way to behave, or speak, or dress. We can come across this type of attitude just about anywhere, but one of the saddest places it can happen is in churches. People might look down on someone who comes to church dressed in dirty clothes, or clothes that aren’t considered ‘smart’. They might make sarcastic comments about someone who sings out of tune, or worships in a different way from their way of doing things. They might secretly, or even openly, condemn someone because they’ve not got a great past, or because they’re currently sinning in some way. We often don’t mean to do this, but sometimes we forget our own shortcomings, and that God’s grace extends to everyone unconditionally. We forget that ‘God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the LORD looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NCV). Paul said to the Galatians: ‘I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die’ (Galatians 2:21 NLT). We all need God’s grace, because none of us are perfect and we all fall short of God’s standards in some way. Our imperfection or sin might not be as obvious as someone else’s, but that doesn’t mean we can look down on them or treat them as less worthy of God’s grace than us. Even though we’re not perfect, God still loves us and welcomes us with open arms. So let’s make sure we’re just as willing to welcome those who are different from us.
Is there someone that you’ve looked down on or gossiped about because they didn’t fit your ‘standards’? Spend time praying for them and about your attitude towards them. Next time you see them, remember God’s grace and welcome them.
The UCB Word For You