Friday, May 18, 2012

Shredded Grace

Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.




The number of dishonest people in the world amazes me.  RB got a call from the business office of the university last week.  "When was the last time you used your university credit card?"  It had been a while, but he was able to pinpoint it pretty fast.  "Someone in Saudi Arabia tried to purchase luggage with it."  Time to shred the card and get another one.


A few days later RB was in Walmart and used his personal bank card.  It was denied.  I'm not sure what concerned him more -- that the card wouldn't work or the fact that the money he thought was in the bank disappeared.  A few phone calls later and he found out someone in a distant state had tried to use the card at two different pharmacies.  It was just a less-than-$10.00 purchase, but the fraud department caught it and blocked his card.  Another card shredded, and a new one sent.


Some dishonesty is harder to make right.  When grace is stolen, what can you shred? We steal grace when we withhold the depths of grace God intended for us to offer. We all need grace to ground our lives.  Goodness, kindness, genuine gratitude is freely given in the offering of our hand and heart. Grace is found when both are offered.  Gifts freely given with our hands wide open only shine with the intensity of a stained glass window when our hearts are open as widely as our hands.


The attitude of some people seems to be one of disdain toward those needing grace.  And I am not entirely innocent of this crime.  How many times have I arranged colorful tissue paper in a gift bag, tied a bow and felt like I have done my duty?  Here, I've showed compassion.  Yeah me.  -- When grace in the form of a conversation was needed more than the gift.  A quick hug given instead of "Come sit by me."  How many times I have selfishly interacted with those I am comfortable with, those whom I can converse with easily.


Grace is not grace when offered reluctantly.   Nor is it grace when recompense is expected.  Grace is in its truest form when unmerited, yet offered willingly.  A grace-starved soul will spew anger, cynicism and depression.  Attitudes that do not attract our desire to share grace.  Sam Storms, when speaking of God's grace said, "Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit."  And so also our offering of grace to those we touch is not grace if we offer it only in reaction to the thought of grace returned.


When we offer grace, it is then the beauty of God's grace shines.  It doesn't matter the amount of fish or bread we are offering.  God multiplies the grace and blessings far more than our small offering.  Like manna, it can be gathered. Like joy, it can overflow.  Like peace, it can satisfy.  Ask God to fill your heart with grace that can be gathered, overflow, and satisfy those reaching hands and yearning souls.
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40 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a powerful post! You are so right about offering grace!

Karen said...

Beautiful description of grace...I loved this!

Lyli @ 3dLessons4Life said...

Thanks for this reminder. Thankful for His grace to me!

Rebecca said...

Good (and convicting) thoughts! My husband is preaching on the Sermon on the Mount. We learned that its opening words centered on heart attitudes! Motives! So it is with every grace-full action we extend....

Kim M. said...

Excellent post-and convicting! Thanks, Pam. This needs to go on facebook, so I am sharing it.

Mamabear said...

Thankyou Pam :-)

Mamabear said...

Thankyou Pam :-)

Sherry said...

Great post on Grace. thank you for sharing with us.

Virginia said...

Understanding grace is a HUGE step toward understanding God.
Great post,uplifting as always +++

DoleValleyGirl said...

Love this. Thank you!

Wendy @ ECTaS said...

What a beautiful post! Love what you have written.

Dianne said...

It is hard to judge another when we realize our own guilt--maybe not a proactive "steal" but an inactive one such as not extending grace when we should.

I really enjoyed your comments over at my place. Thank you so much!

Charlotte said...

I had to shred three different credit cards and have them replaced because the numbers had been stolen and used by others. Now I look at my credit card info on line every day to make sure it is right. That's one of the good things about computers. Of course another one is that we can communicate like this through blogging. I'm glad you share with us regularly. It's always nice to see those four smiing faces when opening your blog.
Blessings,
Charlotte

joy said...

What an isnpiration post about grace. Loved every word of it. Thanks. Blessing.

SD ~ Dawning Inspiration said...

Great reminder to offer grace in all things... thank you.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

When we offer grace, we reflect Him.

My high school students and I finished a powerful novel together yesterday...and we talked about the beauty of Christ shining through us. You've inspired me to write about that!

Grace to you this week -- to give and receive.

myletterstoemily said...

we have had so many credit cards lost
or stolen!

Lisa Lewis Koster said...

I love the line "Grace is not grace when offered reluctantly." We all should seek to bestow on others the grace God bestows on us!

nannykim said...

loved this post! Thanks.

Linda said...

A wonderful reminder of grace - God's Riches At Christ's Expense - thank you!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

It helps me to remember the grace that has been given to me.

Aliene said...

What a beautiful post. We don't deserve Grace, yet it is freely given
This makes me stop and think, am I stilling grace?

Ruth said...

Shredding grace is an interesting thought...I've just been challenged lately with how I've responded in some relationships. I believe I've forgiven, but if I'm withholding acceptance, grace or friendship I am not be as 'over it' as I thought.
Thanks for sharing something that God is using right now in getting my attention. I want to grow in his grace.
Blessings.

Laurie Collett said...

Oh, Pamela, this post convicted me deeply! Thank you for the reminder of His grace, so freely and bountifully given, that should be our model for the grace we show to others.
Love in Him,
Laurie

Just Be Real said...

Such a wonderful and powerful post Pamela. So true. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

bettyl said...

I truly enjoyed your post. It's something the world need to hear more often.

Glenda said...

What a powerful-yet-practical description of grace! You challenge me to be more grace-filled and grace-giving in my relationship with others. We have The Perfect Example, don't we?

Jen Ferguson said...

Just today, I was thinking about mercy. Reading in a book, I found a quote by Charles Spurgeon talking about how God delights in giving mercy. I realized, most of the time, I do not delight in giving mercy. Definitely something for me to work on.

carissa at lowercase letters said...

amen. this is very true. we must give grace as Christ gives grace to us. what a good word!

Susan said...

Wow...this was powerful!

Alicia said...

Wow, this phrase alone will give me plenty to mull on today-- shredded grace. I don't want my grace shredded, but woven and stretched and wrapped all around my life. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Tereasa said...

I really appreciate what you said about grace in this pair, especially the quote you mentioned at the end.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

This is so timely for me Pamela. Someone claiming to be a believer showed me how decietful he really is. It shocked me b/c I didn't think anyone who is a believer would be like that. Thanks for the post.

bluecottonmemory said...

This post is an abundant meal- so beautifully written. It's one I just want to soak up and think about. Heart connections are so important!

Shoregirl said...

Grace has been an area of God's dealing in my life this past year....your post was both timely and true! Thanks for the reminder - well written - straight to the heart (as always!).

Debbie Huffaker said...

Oh, Ms. Pamela, this is one of the most inspiring...thought provoking articles I think I've read in a very long time. It brought conviction to my own heart that I often give a "little" money, or do a "little" something and thing I've really outdid myself with a big pat on the back...ouch. Thank you...I think!!! ;-) HOPE you have a great weekend!!!

redemptionsbeauty said...

This is a convicting, yet encouraging post about extending grace when we want it in abundance for ourselves. Thank you.

Sylvia R said...

Good points here. Good barometers of whether God's grace is active in our lives. If not, we need to go to the Giver. It's painful and difficult to extend grace to some frightening people, even humanly impossible sometimes --- but that's when God comes shining through for all to see. What we can't do, He can do in and through us, a real shedding abroad (instead of shredding) of His grace from our hearts!

Deanna said...

Wow! loved the opening quote ...so much so that I put it on my facebook:)

I was touched by what you saidm
"Grace is not grace when offered reluctantly."

So sorry to hear about the troubles with fraud that RB has recently had to deal with???

Blessing & peace,
Deanna

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I like this thoughtful post about the beauty of God's grace.

 
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