Challenge for the New Year: Be about what I’m “for”

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.42.08 PMWhat do I mean?

I struggle with pride.  It’s not just my struggle.  It’s the battle raging in all of humanity since that first bite of that one fruit on that one forbidden tree.

This ongoing battle causes me to constantly try to extinguish thoughts in my mind of my superiority.  This is usually manifested through trying to hold my tongue from pointing out some truth, Biblically themed or not, which I feel the need to point out in someone’s life without the accountability of checking my motives.  What usually happens when I do check my motives?  I find out I’m not always pointing out truth for the other person’s benefit, but mostly for my own need for self-worth.  Sometimes, I’ll make it about defending the cause of Christ or defending Biblical truths, but even if those were my true motives, they are fruitless without love.

I realize us Christians are quite well-known for this – shouting truth, without the existing context of love, in a world which doubts truth’s very existence.

It’s kind of like banging your head against a wall.

So, I’m wondering if you might take a challenge with me: to be about what we’re for, instead of what we’re against, to listen more than we speak, to make sure truth is sown into hearts prepared by grace and mercy, to be prepared to stay silent when wisdom says it’s better to do so than speaking that truth that’s about to burst from your lips.

I know many may fault me for erring on the side of grace.  I have two things to say:

  1. Grace is quite an offensive term when you mull over it for a while.  It flies in the face of our entitled mentality, implying something given that was not earned – not deserved.
  2. Grace – an undeserved gift – is our distinguishing trait as Christians.  It’s the heart of the Gospel message (…by grace you have been saved).  It’s something for which we have no control over another and that’s very unsettling, uncomfortable, messy (like the cross) …so we gravitate toward truth.  It’s quite comfortable over in the world of black and white.  Two colors are much easier to deal with than one hundred.  Grace is not sin, it actually goes against the grain of our sinful nature.

When I read the pages of the Gospels, I see Jesus answering questions with questions and I see him healing before forgiving sins.  There are times where he refrains from pointing out truth at all as he did with the ten lepers.

This convicts me to ask myself: how can I help someone heal just out of genuine love and care and compassion – both for the believer and for the unbeliever – without expecting any sort of response or favor in return?  How much more can I point to Jesus simply to love as He loved me – to love the undeserving?  How can I express this verbally or more tangibly? How can I resist the urge/need to be right?

What are some ways you have shown grace?  Will you take the challenge?  Would love to hear from you.

Here are some verses that might give more perspective:

Philippians 2
Ephesians 6:10-24

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About Michelle Blanco

Michelle Blanco was originally born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Kissimmee, FL, and now lives in Orlando, FL with her wonderful husband, JT and the cutest kids in the world - Joshua and Mercedes. Michelle has served as a missionary both overseas and domestic, but also was a singer/actor at a local theme park and loves talking theology, music, and movies. Oh, and she loves to act silly.
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