Extra Grace Required

Extra Grace Required

Extra grace required
We all know people that either drains us of energy or drives us other wise nuts. How are we supposed to deal with these very draining persons? Especially as Christians? I’d rather not deal with them at all. But that’s not a very constructive attitude, is it? Certainly not very Christian anyway. What would Jesus say?

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5:43-48, MSG)

We are called to love each other and get along. Even with our enemies and very draining persons. But why on earth does God put these people in our lives?

Kurt Bubna answers in his new book in Epic Grace, Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot “To teach us how to love like he does. If we will let him, God uses difficult people to mold us into his image. They teach us patience. They teach us how to die to ourselves, how to lay down our lives for the sake of another. They teach us how to be more like Jesus. They stretch us into the far reaches of his epic grace.”

Oh, yes. Extra grace required when we meet with these draining persons. Sometimes in epic portions, for sure. But once again if we allow God to work in us, we will be blessed. Sure, the very draining persons can experience some of God’s love through us but usually we end up being in the receiving end. Maybe it’s us who need some extra grace in order to become more like Jesus.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. (Romans 12:9-21, MSG)

How can we love these very draining persons in our lives? Again: extra grace required. Only if we live out our God-given identity, we are able to love our enemies. Only if we have a steady supply of God’s grace, we are capable of serving others like Jesus. Only if we die to ourselves, we able to embrace people who require extra grace even in epic portions.

It’s all about grace. Live it, share it, extend it!

 

Gracious God,
I hear your calling.
I so need you to help me.
Show me how to love difficult people.
Enable me to be a channel for your epic grace.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you deal with very draining persons in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace very draining persons by God’s grace!

Image courtesy of Ty Carlson, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Wisdom Wednesday, Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

This post is part of #EpicGraceWednesdays. I am blogging through Kurt Bubna’s Epic Grace. Join me every Wednesday!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review (or any review for that matter). The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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