Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
A few years ago, I decided to start reflecting on a biblical word for each new year. My intent was to listen to what God had been putting on my heart and begin applying that word and its meaning to my daily walk at work, at home, and just about anywhere I was. I remember about 2 years ago, I felt the word “Grace” was something that God wanted me to apply more of. I began each day confident that I could be more gracious and understanding of others and shine like the best of God’s disciples. However, by 10:30 a.m., on most days, things looked very different. I wanted to give grace and understanding, but somehow my attitude would shift from grace to grief. It was a noble effort and I thought it would be easy. I soon found it was very hard.
When we decide to take a stand and try our best to mold our image to that of God, it is important to remember two things: 1) we are not God, and 2) our efforts alone will never be enough. We will always need the intervention of the Holy Spirit and will continually need to rely on His grace and how and when He wants us to apply it to our lives. It is never by our strength, nor is it by our deep understanding of scripture. It is only by us accepting the fact that we are nothing without Him, even if we have been walking with the Lord for decades. We continually need to remain humbled by His grace upon us daily if we are to humble ourselves and bestow it upon others. I’d like to say that I have achieved the “grace dispenser professional level,” but I haven’t. I am still a work in progress, but I now realize that it is only by His strength and not mine that it is possible.