Monday, March 05, 2012

Amazing grace

From dictionary.com: 
verb (used with object)
14.
to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced therooms of the house. embellish, beautify, deck,decorate, ornament; enhance, honor.  disfigure,desecrate, demean.
15.
to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one's presence. glorify, elevate, exalt.  disrespect,dishonor.


Last year I read a book called ''What's so Amazing about Grace''.  It's written largely for a Christian audience however has life lessons that can be applied to all people. It challenged me about a lot of misconceptions I was brought up to believe, and continue to cling to,  and highlighted the fact that I am far quicker to judge or condemn than to extend grace.

By definition, grace is a beautiful thing.  It should make something better than it might have been.  It's a positive word in my view, and suggests generosity and non-judgement.  But it also says ''control'' to me.  A graceful dancer is a pleasure to watch not least because every single movement is deliberate and certain.  A gracious host shows magnanimity and kindness but within the bounds of good taste and manners.

I've had occasion recently to be in a position of having to really work hard at being gracious.  I'm having to remind myself every day that no matter how wronged I feel, it is not my job to judge someone for their actions.  To me grace is about kindness with strong boundaries.  Generosity with sane limits.  Love with out expectation, but also without martyrdom.

What does extending grace mean to you?

1 comment:

LG Under the Apple Tree said...

There, but for the grace of god go I.