Since I declared this year (2014) a year of grace, I made a conscious effort to learn more about this word that is both familiar and less understood. So I read Philip Yancey’s What Is So Amazing About Grace (I still have a couple of chapters left) It is the only book I have on grace as of the moment, (at least with the word “grace” in the title, hehe) but I think it is the perfect book on the subject. I keep learning a lot of things about grace that I still don’t know, or things that I knew but didn’t care to practice. Heh. I will talk more about the book on my book blog once I’m done.
Ever since I endeavoured to consciously learn grace, life actually presented me many opportunities to practice it. Everyday, I was bombarded with situations that call for grace — or maybe I have only become more conscious about the word now that I have owned it this year. Lately, it seemed that my patience (which is very short) was ever more put to the test, and people around me seemed to fall short of my expectations and I keep getting disappointed. How can I forgive when I am hurt? How can I let a disputed subject matter go without leaving a scathing, albeit morally correct, remark? Dispensing grace is never easy.
And then it struck me how hypocritical I was.
Isn’t it true that I also hurt and disappoint others? Isn’t it true that I also need grace?
What is even worse with my hypocrisy is that since I am aware of the grace that I give, I also expect other people to readily give me back the grace I thought I deserved. But isn’t it true that grace is given to the undeserving? I had wanted to earn back grace by giving grace.
But grace is not earned; it is merely accepted. And I need more grace to understand that not all people can readily forgive or be more patient with me as much as I wanted them to. I cannot demand grace.
My self-righteousness left me dumbfounded and I was brought to my knees. It is at this time that I need God’s grace and forgiveness. I need new eyes to see beyond the faults of others. I need new eyes to see my own faults first before I make a critical remark of others.
Grace humbles me. It breaks the walls of pride and prejudice, even indifference, in me.
Every day will be a struggle with my pride and self-righteousness. And because I am imperfect (no matter how hard I try), every day I need God’s perfect grace to make me whole again.