If you had the choice would you prefer to receive grace or disgrace? I suspect, overwhelmingly, you would prefer to receive the former.
Grace gives us a good feeling, disgrace not so much. A synonymous word for disgrace is shame. Nobody enjoys being disgraced or shamed.
The most frequent New Testament word for grace denotes the meaning of acceptance. There is an inner desire on the part of most people to be accepted by those around them.
As a child, I remember being lined up against the wall with my classmates. Two captains began calling out names to form two teams. When I was called first it was awesome. When I was called last it was embarrassing. I have experienced both.
I am thankful for the grace God extends to me. God accepts me and for that I am thankful.
I am thankful for the grace people extend to me. When people accept me I am thankful. I really don’t like it when people shun me or disgrace me.
But, life is not all about receiving. Life is also about giving.
Each of us has the ability to give grace or disgrace. Each of us has the ability to accept or reject. We can accept or reject God. We can accept or reject people. And, we can accept or reject our self.
Accepting or Rejecting God:
One way we accept or reject God is through our obedience or disobedience to Him. Another way is through our worship. We can accept and entertain His presence or we can reject Him. There are other ways as well. Why don’t you take some time and develop a list as it pertains to your life.
Accepting or Rejecting others:
We have the choice to extend grace to people. We can also choose to disgrace people. Both grace and disgrace generate feelings; one positive and one negative. Psalm 133 starts off by telling us how blessed it is for us to dwell in unity with each other. We offer grace when we dwell in unity. We offer disgrace when unity is not sought after. Of course there are many other ways we offer grace and disgrace to those around us. Again, make a personal list.
Accepting or Rejecting our self:
This is the tough one. So much of our ability and/or desire to offer acceptance (grace) or rejection (disgrace) to God and others reside in our ability and/or desire to accept or reject our self. Even those you think ‘have it all together’ have a hard time accepting them self. I’m not referring to accepting sin in our life. Not at all. I am referring to the perceived blemishes that reside within and without. Once again, make a list of ways you offer grace and disgrace to your self.
What a blessing it is to receive acceptance and what a blessing it is to extend acceptance. The next time you find yourself disgracing or shaming yourself, your spouse, your children, or anybody else, pause and think it through. Then offer grace instead. What a difference you will make in the recipient’s life especially when the recipient is you.
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