There’s a common denominator for every reset that we ever experience in our lives – grace.
One of the easiest definition I’ve ever heard for grace it is that it is getting something you do not deserve. It’s an overwhelming, amazing, suprising and completely undeserved gift. A reset is a gift of another chance.
But grace isn’t easy. We can hear sermon after sermon on grace and how it means that it places us on the same footing as Crhist. We can talk about how we’ve all received a gift through grace that we could never earn on our own.
We can talk about how, in light of a grace reset in our lives, that we get a do-over, a second chance. There are so many references to grace in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. One of those references reads this way:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
Then, we get to the tension of grace. We are supposed to share the gift of a grace reset we receive with another who is in need of a reset.
Everyone struggles to do this. People who have never heard of Jesus struggle to share that gift. People who have been in church their entire lives struggle to share this gift. Some of the most devoted followers of Jesus struggle to share a grace reset.
Does that make us hypocritical human beings? Not really. Maybe it is just a reminder that we are human and that hitting the reset button requires much, much more than we could possibly give on hour own.
So, yes, if we aren’t careful, we can leave church where we have praised the God who gives, and gives us grace we don’t desserve, and then we fall back into the patterns of withholding grace from others.
Or, we can look at the way someone is dressed or hear the way they talk, or we smell them and think that’s not the type of person I want to speak to or share my story with or even spend time with in church.
The challenge of resetting our own lives is that we have to constantly remind ourselves of the grace we have received when encountering others in desperate need of it.
Grace isn’t easy. Grace is messy. And it takes grace being messy for it to shine light into the messiest places of our lives — including our stereotypes of ourselves and others.
Maybe this is why that messy grace reset is so challenging:
- We can’t, on one hand talk, about how the only requirement to be a believer is to have faith through Christ and then say, “If you don’t agree with me and the political party I support, you can’t possibly be a Christian.”
- We can’t, on one hand, talk about extending grace, love and mercy to all people and then completely ignore a group of people because they fall below the poverty line, or they don’t share the same skin pigment we have.
- We can’t, on one hand, claim to have open doors to our churches, but then through our actions, our words and our body language show others that they really don’t belong in our groups. Let’s face it, it’s easy to say we welcome everyone, but it’s far more challening to show visitors we actually believe it.
- We can’t talk about how we love our neighbors as ourselves in churches on Sundays and then on Monday share racially tinged jokes with one another, stereotype whole groups of people, share posts on social media attacking the “person” of the political candidate we oppose, etc..
- And, we can’t, as Jesus would say, attack another over the splinter in his or her eye while ignoring the log in our own eye. By the very nature of that image Jesus gives, we get the idea that it takes work to look past our own sin to be able to attack another over his or her sin.
This grace reset stuff is “messy.” Grace is easy to talk about and hard to put into practice. And it is this very grace that is essential to every single reset we experience.
Resets should not be taken lightly. If you don’t get anything else out of this post, get this: Grace can and will absolutely wreck your life. Do you get that? Grace changes us from the heart out. It changes the way we see our lives and the world around us. Grace helps us to see our own past failures in a new way and it helps us to redeem them.
Experiencing a grace reset changes our relationships. Some relationships are going to be strengthened and made better. A grace reset will also lead some relationships to end. And, it will also open the doors to new relationships.
Grace is not to be messed with!
Maybe, today, you are at the place where you need to experience a grace reset in your life.
Just know that the grace reset requires something of you. It requires you to extend that grace to others.
So think about it, pray about it, do whatever you need to do. Acknowlege the costs.
Then, by all means, hit the button.
Reignitemystory.com is based on the idea that our life stories are reignited when we reset them, renew them and redeem them. To contact the writer, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter at @reignitemystory