To Live By Grace

It happens all the time to people who talk in front of people.

You mess up. Your tongue gets twisted or tangled. You get a word or two confused. You say the wrong word at the wrong time.

It happens.

And one day it happened to a dear friend of mine. He was leading the church in a time of prayer and he just messed up a couple of words.

No big deal –at least to me and the rest of the church.

But it was a big deal to my friend who walked stright up to me after the assembly. “Take my name off the list of those willing to say prayers. I messed up, I am not going to do that again.”

And he didn’t do that again. Ever.

I have not forgotten my friend and his decision. This whole event has haunted me for years. It haunts me not because we didn’t have plenty of people to step up and replace this brother on “the list.” But because of what I think this whole thing revealed about my friend’s faith and view of God.

He was a very progressive thinker who was in his 60’s. He understood it was impossible to earn your salvation. He understood salvation was by grace. In fact, he would have been offended if anyone suggested he was not “grace-oriented.” And rightly so, because he was all about grace.

What troubles me is that by his “giving up” my brother revealed that he had no place for grace and forgiveness in his life. He was still demanding perfection from himself. He may have understood he was saved by grace, but I am not sure he grasped living by grace.

I am not sure I do.

Do you?

I wonder how many times we fail to take risks or make a bold or courageous moves because we fear failure. And I wonder if that fear of failure might reveal that we are operating under a need for perfection.

Gracious God,
Thank you for saving us by Your grace.
Help us to live by Your grace.
Every hour.
Every day.
In Jesus’ name,

2 thoughts on “To Live By Grace

  1. All too true, Bob. As I have put it over the years brothers and sisters in the Lord either never understood grace, forgot the meaning of grace, or they understood it, remember it, but have chosen to reject it in their hour of need.

    It is so vital to the health of our faith that the depth of our understanding and appreciation of grace be ever increasing, not just for ourselves but for the sake of others who witness and are affected when we crawl off into the corner.

    I healthy, sound understanding of the grace of God is what will enable us to see the worse of our times through to the end even when others, especially brothers and sisters in faith, refuse to extend us grace. Grace allows us to rejoice in the Lord always in spite of our selves and our worse mess ups because the Lord our God is a loving and forgiving God who never abandons us.

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