Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Snagged

So often when listening to Jeff's sermon on Sunday mornings I hit a snag. It's like putting on hose when, rip! Your fingernail gets snagged in the hose and then there's this runner, and it's all you can think about. Unlike the runner, which is a bad thing, I'm usually caught on something really good and my thoughts run away from the sermon and form their own little sermon in my head. (Sorry, Jeff.) :)

This past Sunday, Jeff was up there preaching about grace. He said that it ought to be a given that we extend grace to our fellow church members, but that, of course, we need to extend grace to everyone else. And I don't remember much else after that.

Is it easier to be gracious to our church family than to the rest of the world? Maybe sometimes. But for me, at least in this stage in my Christian walk, many times it's harder for me to be gracious to the people with whom I'm closest. I mean, "those worldy people," we're supposed to extend grace to them. Jesus said to! Everybody's doing it! We don't gossip about them ... we don't even know them! Besides, they didn't really do anything to affect us personally. We'd just as soon keep our distance. It's safer.

But my church family? Christians? They know better! How am I suppsed to be gracious to them if I have to see them every week, and sometimes more often than that! It's hard to pretend like everything's okay if I really have to come in contact with them. It's a lot easier to gossip about them and get people "on my side" than to actually talk to them.

To truly be gracious ... even when "they know better" ... now that's really something.

I'm still working on that one.

4 comments:

Aunt Donna said...

Mike always says he's glad when people think about the things he says and then that makes them think of other things. He says that way his sermon gets expanded and preached many more times than the one he preaches. (OK, those were really convoluted sentences, but I hope you understood it!) Sounds like it's all right to follow your thoughts!

JEFF CHRISTIAN'S BLOG said...

I must admit, Kim, that I have never heard my preaching compared with a runner in pantyhose.

Fascinating.

Your Aunt Donna is right; as long as the "runner" works alongside cultivating a walk with God, it's all good. And as far as the grace thing to those you know, you got the ironic point. It's actually easier (in my opinion) to show grace to strangers. Most of the time that is a one-time thing. Grace to people you see every day... that's an ongoing process.

Grace to you, my friend.

Aunt K said...

When I was younger, many years ago, I don't remember many sermons about "grace". In l972 (I told you it was years ago.) I remember sitting in Neal Pryor's freshman New Testament Bible class and hearing him him teach about grace. I felt like a dark veil or heavy cloud had been lifted from my soul. For the first time, I felt like a had a "chance" at salvation. I also felt more grateful, thankful, and love for God than I had ever felt before. I don't know why it took me until I was a 19 year old to "get it", but I'm glad I did. However, I am still learning to extend grace to those I think "ought to know better". Lord, Father, be patient with me!

Mamaw said...

Tell Jeff that Mamaw is not a bit surprised that he hasn't heard the comparison of sermons and pantyhose; she has very creative grandchildren.
Your entry and comments have inspired me to think about grace and where I learned it. I may have not known what to call it, but I believe I learned the meaning of grace by observing love and forgiveness in my parents.
Mamaw