For all the twisted senses of humor, Grace is not 5′ 6″ with long brown hair and a captivating smile! Our granddaughter is named Grace and if that was the direction of this post I’d just put her picture here. She’s cute and I’ve spent a good bit of time with her in my lap. But I’m asking about that grace we can’t hold. Can you see it? If you could, what would you say it looks like?
The answer begins with love. Poetry, theater, movies, and social media all tell us we ‘fall in love.’ Love is a warm, fuzzy, emotional feeling. Somehow, we are overtaken by this great, powerful feeling and we are subject to its whims. A look at the divorce rate among Christians shows people don’t understand love on any deeper level than this. But God commands us, Love one another!
God, our example, loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). He chose to bestow His love on us. Love is ‘action by choice,’ focused on the good or well-being of its object. Loving brothers and sisters in Christ is choosing to believe the best about them, doing that which builds them up, honors them, or helps them.
But there are things love does not do. Love refuses to tear others down, listen to someone else do it, or engage in anything that harms them. God commended (commanded) His love toward us and we’re to do likewise. The command prevents sin because loving others lessens conflict and minimizes competition.
Grace: A Family Trait
Have you ever seen sibling rivalry at your house? Competition causes kids to be hateful and rude to each other. They don’t understand it’s not possible for parents to love them more than they are already loved. Question: If we being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does the Father in heaven know how to give good gifts to His children? You don’t like sibling rivalry at your house and God doesn’t like it at His house! If sibling rivalry hurts our sinful hearts, how much more must it grieve the heart of God? Peter wrote in I Peter 4:8 –
Love one another deeply (fervently) because this will cover a multitude of sins.
There are many ways to love, and verse 9 says practicing hospitality is one of them. We’re to use our spiritual gifts to serve others and demonstrate love. It’s a double demonstration: first, obedience demonstrates love toward God; second, it demonstrates love to others. By doing so, verse 10 says we have administered the grace of God. That’s what grace looks like! Can someone look at you and see it?