UNGRACE


STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM

UNGRACE
=======
The Word became
flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,
the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and
truth. John
1:14

Yesterday we concluded that “grace” is Christianity’s best gift to
the world!
It’s a force stronger than vengeance, stronger than racism,
stronger than
hate. But sadly to a world desperate for this grace, the church
sometimes
presents one more form of what Philip Yancey calls
“ungrace.”

Charles Swindoll in his book, The Grace Awakening, powerfully
lists these
enemies of grace as:

From without: legalism, expectations,
traditionalism, manipulation, demands,
negativism, control, comparison,
perfectionism, competition, criticism,
pettiness and a host of
others.

From within: pride, fear, resentment, bitterness, an unforgiving
spirit,
insecurity, fleshly effort, guilt, shame, gossip, hypocrisy, and many
more.[1]

Nothing has the power to change us from within like the freedom
that comes
through grace. And grace has very practical outworking in our
lives.

A greater appreciation for God’s gifts

Those who claim the
freedom God offers gain an appreciation for the gifts that
come with life:
the free gift of salvation, life, laughter, music, beauty,
friendship and
forgiveness.

Less time and energy being critical or concerned about
other’s choices

When you begin to operate in the context of grace and
freedom, you become
increasingly less petty. You will allow others room to
make their own
decisions in life, even though you may choose otherwise. A
grace-full
Christian is one who looks at the world and others through
“grace-tinted
lenses.”

More tolerant and less judgmental

When
you are so involved in your own pursuit of grace, you’ll no longer lay
guilt
trips on those with whom you disagree.

A giant step toward
maturity

As your world expands, thanks to an awakening of your
understanding of grace,
your maturity will enlarge. You will become more like
Jesus and you will never
be the same!

RESPONSE: Today I will determine
to avoid those things that prompt “ungrace”
in my life.

PRAYER: Lord,
I don’t want to live any longer in the same old ways. Help me to
become more
like Jesus.

1. Charles R. Swindoll, The Grace Awakening (Dallas: Word
Publishing, 1990),
pp. 5-14.

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