The words slid off my tongue like butter from a knife.
Smooth, slick words rolled out of my mouth and into my listener’s ears.
If only I had caught my words that morning and took them captive while they were still a thought.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Restless, agitated, mulling over my words, trying to convince myself that I spoke ‘truth in love’ was how I spent the next few days. My soul felt like a clogged channel and I was looking for ways to unclog it. The truth is–I couldn’t do that myself.
Around the same time, I was meeting with a group of women studying a book titled, “Seeking Him–experiencing the joy of personal revival” and what an eye-opening, wow inducing, all-encompassing truth encounter that was!
I rested one morning in the chapter on having a clear conscience and dealing with offenses toward others. Emmanuel ~ God’s astonishing grace with me, was pointing out, teaching, empowering and challenging me to live out the gospel.
I may have failed to live it out just days before but I could begin again. It’s what we do after we make a mess that really matters.
Acknowledging the messiness before God was liberating. His grace ushered in peace, but my peace, wasn’t enough. I had to bring peace into the relationship with the woman, that I had offended. I needed to apologize.
With an invitation to a party in hand (that I knew she would be attending too) I planned my move.
I was hoping my words would slide off my tongue like butter (this time too) but I envisioned them more like peanut butter sticking to the roof of my mouth as I tried to force out an apology. I wanted her to understand the motive behind the words; defend myself and I kept rehearsing how I’d say it.
But none of that mattered on the day we met. I said a prayer while walking into the event and courage and power flowed through my once clogged soul and I simply said, “I want to apologize for what I said, it was uncalled for, will you forgive me?” She smiled, “Wow I appreciate that. Yes I forgive you.”
We sat at the same table, enjoying the party together, with the air cleared of everything but GRACE.
Grace. It’s all about grace.
God wrapped Himself in grace on that first Christmas, over 2000 years ago, and the gift of grace keeps on giving.
It’s grace that meets us in the middle of relationships and helps us speak the simple words “Will you forgive me?” And it’s grace that allows the response, “Yes I forgive you.”
It’s not enough for me to accept His gift of grace, I need to extend it. Freely I have received so I can freely give. There isn’t another way to live the life of faith except through grace.
When we first believed it was by grace; living our faith daily is grace upon grace, upon grace, upon grace…it’s all about grace.
Is there someone who needs the gift of grace from you this Christmas?
Written by: Nancy Janiga ©2014