Passion is a gritty kind of love, tough and

optimistic enthusiasm that overcomes negativity and inconvenience to make it

through to the end. (10,000 Reasons Overflow)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Being open to give and recieve grace

I learned a lot yesterday. I learned a lot about myself and a lot about how to treat people.

Yesterday, I unintentionally hurt someone. "back in the day" I would have been like the girl from New Mexico state who is kind of violent when she plays soccer. Instead I apologized only to be slammed back, but I am choosing to let go. I remember on days when something would happen that would make me angry, I not only retaliated, I just let it go on and on with people I knew, if Margie ain't happy, then nobody's gonna be happy kind of attitude. Soon after taking Dale Carnegie, my attitude changed, if someone would wrong me (including something as little as cutting me off on the freeway) I would stop and get a muffin or a candy bar for someone, and I would do it at least twice, the it was not only = but the balance was in the favor of good.

I have often said that very mean spirited things can be said in a joking manner and no harm come of it, however, sometimes something that's not mean spirited(or intended to be mean-spirited), said in a joking manner, can cause harm. That's why I think that sarcasm (something I need to work on) and poking fun at people (even yourself) shouldn't be done, because it can be hurtful. And unfortunatly, I did not follow my own advice, and caused harm. Someone once said to me that they were hurt by someone kind of making fun of him because of something they were doing, and then I pointed out that they often makes fun of themself, what does they think people will return? Sometimes jokes hurt, intending to hurt or not.

Yesterday, I was so hurt by the person that I hurt because of retaliation that I was ready to leave it all behind, I won't go into what "all" means but I will tell you that I was ready to retreat, and alienate myself, "I can do it all on my own, I don't need anyone's help, whatever blessing they bring, pain comes with it and unravels the beautiful ribbon that was once created".

And then it happened, God used someone in my life to say "don't throw the baby out with the bath water". And remembering a lesson I had heard on peace and mercy, and grace, all branches of love, I heard God speak, not just in the situation at hand but by many times I had extended grace (this time, I wasn't going to, my flesh was loud... it was saying "Oh really, you think that's bad you just wait)and how many times I hadn't extended grace.

Grace is a hard thing for me to accept and in that a hard thing for me to extend. Part of it is that I know I don't deserve it (duh, it wouldn't be grace if you DESERVED it) and so I expect that most people know they shouldn't deserve it either. And it becomes a vicious cycle. Because then grace isn't accepted or given, both a sin if you ask me. Its like in the song "Desert Song "I know I'm filled to be emptied again, the seed I've recieved I will sow". I never thought of it in the grace aspect, only in the loving someone aspect, but really isn't it the same? You can't really have one without the other.

I was at a bible study last night, Luke 1. And I was thinking about Mary, and how she was chosen to carry Jesus in her womb. What made her highly favored (Luke 1:30)? As a human, what could have made her worthy of carrying the Lord and Savior of the world? The King sent to save us all? Only grace. And maybe God knew that she would be willing. Later in the chapter it says (46-55)

46And Mary said:
"My soul glorifies the Lord
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
even as he said to our fathers

How sweet that must have sounded to God. How I'd love to sing that song, and I think about how blessed and highly favored I am, in the mess I make and to quote someone (I can't remember if it was Josh or Dan) "He turned my mess into a message". I don't deserve any of it, I don't deserve all He's given me, I don't deserve to be forgiven, I don't deserve anything, but by His wounds, I am healed (Isaiah 53:5).

Also I learned that we should extend grace by just assuming that people don't mean to be hurtful or offensive and even if they do, just try to look at it as they might be hurting and have no way else to relieve their hurt and sometimes we just have to be the pillow that they punch and give grace for the pain. And even when confronted about the pain the cause or caused, they might not accept responsiblity (I've done this) but to extend grace, anyway. I was advised to read James 1:17 but then continued on to read and was blown away again by the whole be slow to speak and slow to become angry (I already know this, why don't I heed?). I don't know why I continue to be amazed by God. I know that He does not send us out empty, He gives us armor (Eph 6:10) (though I think we sometimes dent it ourselves putting it on) to go into battle. And sometimes the battles are outside of us, and sometimes inside of us (those are the hardest) and as things happen to us, we have two choices, one is to react, and the other is to change our attitude.

I think in order to grow, we must be open to learn. Our hearts must be open to hear and love, and in that, it means they can also be exposed to hurt. But that is not God's intention, He is faithful, His gifts are perfect and good. We must always focus on that.

James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Grace to you.

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