(We’d sung the song by Matt Redman, Your Grace Finds Me, as a congregation many times, but one Sunday last summer, the words in the refrain impacted me differently.
Your grace finds me;
Yes, Your grace finds me!
Since that Sunday, I keep being reminded of ways God’s grace has found me in the past, finds me in the present, and I’m assured, will continue to find me in the future.)
When Grace Walks In…
I’m not sure if this happens with you, but when I meet someone and chat with him or her a bit, within minutes I have a sense whether or not we share a bond of faith. Somehow, it feels like our spirits synchronize.
Many years ago, I made the decision that when I sense spirit-synchronization, I would not ask: “What church do you attend?”
My decision wasn’t made because I think beliefs and doctrines are unimportant. I decided because one day I realized as soon as I gathered this information, I was prone to apply stereotypes based on my perception of that person’s faith traditions or doctrinal positions. At times, I realized I was constructing mental arguments in order to show how I’m right, and his or her beliefs are erroneous.
Graciousness is one of my core values—an attribute I’ve asked God to grow in me—a quality I admire deeply in others and want reflected more and more within me.
When I start thinking about how my beliefs differ from another’s, rather than focusing on the kinship we share, I tend to be filled with judgmental instead of grace-filled thoughts. This ‘stinkin’ thinkin,’ creates in congruence between the gracious woman I want to be and the judgmental woman I can so easily become.
This insight from Ann VosKamp’s rings true:
When we listen to words, not to shoot them down, but to open us up — Grace can walk in.
Oh, how I want grace to walk into my relationships.
I want to listen to people’s words with grace-filled ears.
I want to speak life-giving words from a grace-filled tongue.
When Grace walks in, and I listen—rather than use my many words—perhaps the whisper of the Holy Spirit—the Voice of Truth—can be heard more easily.
A Prayer for Greater Grace:
Dear Lord, you know how quickly I tend to make assumptions, jump to conclusions and lapse into judgmental, self-righteous thinking. Remind me when I fall into these behaviors. Remind me to ‘shush’ and instead listen so that Grace is able to walk in!
First Sunset of 2016 – Connie Lloyd