“Grace” is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the religious world. Maybe people think about how God’s grace gives them power to do what they are unable to do on their own. Or perhaps they remember how the grace of God gives them what they don’t deserve to have, like forgiveness, love, and strength.
Since humans were created in God’s image, we should aim to have the same attributes as God. For example, if God extends grace to us, shouldn’t we also be willing to give grace to others? Absolutely! But how exactly do we do that? What are some practical ways that we can show grace?
Grace and Humility
We are all eager for God to pour His grace out on us, but we need to remember what 1 Peter 5:5b says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” We cannot be proud and confident in ourselves and expect to receive God’s grace when we need it.
In God’s eyes, humility is the precursor to grace. We must continually strive to have a humble attitude toward others in order for God’s grace to be available to us. And when we’re humble, we are much more inclined to extend grace to others too.
Remember God’s Grace to You Personally
When we intentionally remember how gracious God has been to us, it’s a lot easier to give grace to others. It’s so easy to get busy with our lives and forget God’s goodness toward us, but each day we should recall how God’s grace has been poured out toward us.
In fact, Ephesians 2:7-8 reminds us “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Clearly, we don’t earn grace; it’s a gift from God. And His grace is shown through His kindness in sending Jesus. So showing grace to someone is showing them kindness that they haven’t earned – it’s a gift from you to them! We are called to give grace kindly and freely. Read more about what grace means in Christianity here
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Everyone has bad days and good days. Have you ever gone into a restaurant, office or gas station and encountered an unhappy worker? Chances are, that employee is having a bad day. So how do you handle it? Do you get upset when he or she isn’t as courteous or responsive to you? Or do you extend grace by being extra kind and understanding?
If we’ll be honest and put ourselves in other people’s shoes and try to understand what they are going through, it’s a lot easier to show grace and kindness. So rather than getting upset or taking things personally when someone treats you badly, try putting yourself in his or her shoes, and you’ll find that showing grace to that person isn’t so difficult after all.
When it’s Difficult to Give Grace
We’ve all experienced it: that certain difficult, cranky, hard-to-get-along-with person who knows exactly how to push your buttons. Do we have to give grace to these kinds of people? You already know the answer … and the truth is, these are the people who need grace extended to them the most.
Maybe you say, “But they don’t deserve it!” Exactly. That’s why it’s called grace; it’s unearned, unmerited, undeserved. And that’s what makes it so beautiful. That’s what attracted us to Jesus in the first place, and when we offer grace to people who don’t “deserve” it, they will be drawn to Jesus too.
Sometimes it’s hardest to give grace to the people who are closest to us. Maybe that’s because we have higher expectations for them or we are so familiar to them that we just don’t think about the importance of extending grace to them.
Challenge yourself to see your loved ones and friends through fresh eyes; put yourself in their position and try to understand what they may be going through. In so doing, you’ll find it easier to offer grace to the people you love most.
As we obediently reach out to others with grace, God gives us the strength to follow through. He knows that it’s not natural for us to show grace to people (especially difficult people), but when we do so, it brings Him glory and joy because we’re imitating Him.
~ Jennell Houts