Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)
Because of the weakened muscles in my legs, I walk a little, well, different now. Sometimes I feel really weak, so I will lean on something or quickly find a chair to sit down. I don’t get embarrassed very easily, but there are certain types of attention I could really do without.
I remember my three pregnancies. There is something about being noticeably pregnant that inspires complete strangers to think it’s perfectly acceptable to say pretty much anything to you. Having a disability makes them even more shocking.
“What’s wrong with your legs?”
Yes, I have been asked this question. Several times, in fact. In these moments, for one blindingly, sinful second, this response flashes through my mind, “What’s wrong with your nose that you can’t keep it out of my dang business?!” Instead, I smile graciously and explain the truth. “I was attacked by a Great White shark and, quite honestly, I’d rather not talk about it.”
However, I don’t think it’s necessary to disclose personal information to a complete stranger, so a general or even vague answer works for me. It’s the manner in which it’s spoken that determines grace. A nice smile. A courteous response. Grace given.
These experiences got me thinking about other times we are called to give Grace. We have all been offended by someone’s speech or actions. Perhaps we bear the scars of a deeper hurt caused by neglect, violence or abuse. Forgiveness is the act of extending Grace just like responding kindly to an offensive person (when I really don’t want to!) is giving Grace.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
My friends, we have been extended much Grace in the person of Jesus Christ. Forgiving another is not a simple thing, but it becomes a little more easily grasped when we realize how much we have been forgiven! When we take time to ponder how much Grace has been poured out for us, giving grace will require less effort.
This is the Grace of the Gospel – every single rotten, nasty thing I’ve ever done and will do is forgiven just by me repenting and calling on the name of Jesus, the Son of God. Believing, by Grace, that He took my penalty for sin and lived the perfect life that I could never live. I am saved from punishment and reconciled to God, but there’s more! I also get to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven! Hallelujah!!
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)
Grace step with me!