December 30, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Proverbs 3:34 NKJV
My plea is that we not limit grace to Christ. We, too, can learn to be just as gracious as He. And since we can, we must, not only in our words and in great acts of compassion and understanding but in small ways as well. Let me describe four practical expectations you can anticipate as you get a firm grasp on grace.
First, you can expect to gain a greater appreciation for God's gifts to you and others. What gifts? Several come to mind. The free gift of salvation. The gift of life. The gift of laughter, of music, of beauty, of friendship, of forgiveness. Those who claim the freedom God offers gain an appreciation for the gifts that come with life.
Second, you can expect to spend less time and energy critical of and concerned about others' choices. Wouldn't that be a refreshing relief? When you get a grasp on grace---when you begin to operate in a context of freedom---you become increasingly less petty. You will allow others room to make their own decisions in life, even though you may choose otherwise.
Third, you can expect to become more tolerant and less judgmental. Externals will not mean as much to you. You'll begin to cultivate a desire for authentic faith rather than endure a religion based on superficial performance. You will find yourself so involved in your own pursuit of grace, you'll no longer lay guilt trips on those with whom you disagree.
Fourth, you can expect to take a giant step toward maturity. As your world expands, thanks to an awakening of your understanding of grace, your maturity will enlarge. Before your very eyes, new vistas will open. It will be so transforming, you will never be the same.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.