A number of years ago, I was in a bible study with some of my most closest friends. It was a group of couples deeply committed to their faith and wanting to connect — I lost all those friends in my divorce — but that is another blog.
I have a very vivid memory of one particular study that we did on the “Fruits of the Spirit'”. A deeper reflection on Galatians 5:22. Each of us talked in detail about which of the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) were the most important in our lives. I remember at the time that I was consumed with faithfulness and how to focus on being less worried and more faithful.
One of the women who I deeply respected in the group, talked about Grace and how it was for her, the culmination of so many of the fruits of the spirit into one emotion. She felt like the most important place for her to spend her time was in the pursuit of grace. I remember thinking at the time, Grace? Really? How boring…… What does showing grace really mean??
The last few years have made me seek grace in ways that I never imagined. As I approach the world, I want to show the kind of grace that the people around me deserve. I want to look at each situation and show grace to that situation and the people who are part of it — whether it is a friend, a family member, my children or a stranger on street. I want to not just show grace but feel grace each and every day. Especially to myself, as I can be my hardest critic. I cannot think of a greater compliment to receive than “She handles herself with grace”.
I have been recently going through some challenging issues that are allowing me to fully explore grace — and what it really means. These recent events challenge me to try to be graceful in the face of anger, resentment, misunderstanding and conflict. I can’t say that I like the practice or that I am handling it perfectly. But I am seeing myself in a new light — and will judge my success in this phase based on how graceful I emerge.