[bl]O[/bl]ur behavior and choices lead to natural and created consequences. Often, we’re able to reconcile with our actions, even the immediate outcome. But it’s the lasting consequences that shape our heart. That’s where we’re haunted with the reminder of our poor choices, our sinful nature. That’s where we’re held captive by our decisions. That’s where our pain motivates healing and reconciliation, or escape and deeper rebellion.
How do we recognize grace in our consequences? When people don’t trust us because of past behavior, where is the grace? When we watch how our decisions deeply affect and hurt others, where is the grace? When our freedom is limited because our actions have created dependency on others, where is the grace? If our charges stay on a record, where is the grace? If our actions cost others, where is the grace?
If grace is who God is and God is present in all things, then grace must also exist in all people and places, in all circumstances and consequences.
We just don’t see it.
As believers in a gracious God, we have a responsibility to both see grace in our own consequences, and be grace in the consequences of others.
Seeing grace is recognizing God’s presence. His provisions and affirmations, his direction and discipline. It’s discerning what he’s delivering us from and where he’s calling us to. It’s noticing the undeserved gifts that surround us. It’s choosing to see the good despite the bad. It’s owning up to who we’ve been, but not believing it’s who we are.
Seeing grace. It’s choosing to be grateful, instead of spiteful. It’s choosing to praise, rather than complain. This isn’t easy. Cause our flesh feels the pain before our spirit sees what is good.
Lord, help us to see your grace. In. All. Things.
And help us to be grace. In. All. Things.
Being grace is seeking to understand the pain of another. It’s listening to the frustration, praying it doesn’t blind them. It’s being available in their inconvenience. And speaking truth into the lies that sin speaks. It’s trusting, despite the risk. It’s believing, despite the outcome. It’s protecting, without smothering. It’s being present, but giving space.
Being grace. It’s discovering how to love a person and all the circumstances that surround them, to love them in the places they are.
This is community.
The place of consequence is where grace may not seem visible, but there’s great opportunity for it to abound. For the places where our sin take us are the places from which God delivers. It’s new realities that lead to redeemed life and freedom.
Our consequences don’t define us, but through grace they can shape in us a new spirit that sees a faithful God present in our story — our past activity, our present reality and our future hope.
Live as a person of grace. See it. Be it.
#372 The guy in need of grace.
#373 The girl in need of grace.
#374 And the love and hope I have for them and see in them.
#375 Me who needs grace in how I give it.