Welcome to this last blog post for April!!
Are you excited that it’s almost May? We’re on a countdown to our older daughter’s college graduation in a couple of weeks. I’m so looking forward to making the trip down to Florida to spend time celebrating with her!
Something I used to do at the start of a new year was to choose a word for that year. I’d try to meditate on my word as I went through the next twelve months, looking for all the ways I could apply it in my life.
One year, the word I chose was grace. I wanted to make sure I recognized God’s grace in my life every day. But I also wanted to focus on showing grace to others.
What exactly did that look like? I needed a plan to put that into action. Here are five ideas that I came up with to help me show grace to other people in my life.
1. Have compassion.
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering….” (Colossians 3:12-13)
I don’t know what a fellow mom or another sister in Christ is going through. I haven’t walked in her shoes, or dealt with her challenges or limitations. Asking God to help us see the needs in the lives of those around us will allow us to reach out with compassion and support.
2. Don’t compare.
“.…but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (II Corinthians 10:12b)
I’ve written before about releasing ourselves from the comparison trap. We can be tempted to compare ourselves to others in a way that makes us feel better about ourselves. Grace keeps us from looking down on others while elevating ourselves.
3. Give without expectations.
Whether it’s time, money, an act of service, or an actual gift, let’s give cheerfully, expecting nothing in return.
4. Extend to others the benefit of the doubt.
If we don’t understand someone’s actions or attitude, let’s not jump to conclusions or speculate on their motives. In other words, “Put the very best construction on the actions of others.”
5. Willingly take second (or third or fourth) place.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another…” (Romans 12:10)
Grace can be evidenced by genuine humility in putting others’ needs ahead of our own. Our human nature leads us to selfishness and a desire for personal recognition. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can set aside our pride and lift up other people.
Just as we want others to show grace to us, let’s extend that grace to those we’re around today.
Can you think of other ways that we can show grace to others?
- Parenting with a Spirit of Grace
- Trusting His Grace When I Can’t See His Face
- That Time I Had a Pity Party
Cris Watson says
Great advice, Tracey, and thank you for these reminders! We are all in need of compassion, aren’t we! I read something recently that says “Kindness is like snow: it makes beautiful everything it covers.”
And you learned these actions from a mother that still models it!
Yes, we’re certainly all in need of compassion. I really like that saying about kindness!!