We Bible folk use the term "grace," pretty casually and loosely. Oh, we speak of it's value and importance, yet many use it as an excuse to "do what is right in their own eyes." Then there's the other camp who seek strict Torah observance and seem to place "grace" on a back burner, or worse, never mention it. Amazing Grace is a long time favorite for many, and it truly is only by the grace of our Creator, through His Son, that we can be forgiven and have a relationship with Him. But I'm not talking about our Heavenly Father's grace toward His people, I'm talking about His people having grace toward each other and those who do not yet know our Heavenly Father. I'm talking about born again Torah observant children of the Most High, walking in grace . . .
Messiah said we'd be forgiven as we forgive. With that being true . . . Shouldn't we be extending the same grace we've been shown? As this came to my heart, I became astonished at the number of times in any given day, we are called to extend grace and be gracious. I double checked the list of the fruit of the Spirit, and graciousness is not included. Even in the meanings of the words in the list, gracious is not a synonym for any of the fruits of the Spirit. I'm not going to argue with Scripture, nor am I adding to, but . . . those of us who have received grace, should be extending and sharing grace! Perhaps it's not in the list of fruit of the Spirit, because it supposed to be a "given." Torah obedient followers of Messiah should be gracious! As I've sought to understand grace, I've found myself in several situations for which grace is called. Often we are called to show grace or be gracious when we'd truly rather offer a piece of our mind . . .
As Sukkot was approaching, I found myself being bombarded by situations of aggravation. Many of us feel the extra stress and chaos as the High Holy Days approach. It seems, many on social media actually include stress, argument, and discord as a part of their celebratory ritual. So many folks talk more about what they don't believe, than what they do believe. It's easy to become distracted, and then to find ourselves in need of more repentance than when we began the days of introspection and repentance. I learned grace is an atmosphere that protects the children of YaH from distractions and discord, if we walk in grace. In a conversation about grace, with one of my granddaughters some years back, she looked at me with light in her eyes and said, "G-ma, grace is like living in a bubble!" Grace allows us to be in the presence of a Holy G-d; and grace empowers us to walk through an unholy world, set apart.
Another wonderful lesson I've learned and it's been coming gradually. When dealing with folks who need a lot of attention and seem to make every situation about them . . . I just pray for them and listen. In this high stress, fast paced culture, many people feel overlooked and neglected. Then there are others who just truly seem to need the spotlight, while some find themselves to actually be the center of a very difficult situation they never wanted. Those are needs, I can meet graciously. I don't want anyone to feel overlooked in my presence, and the spotlight is simply not my cup of tea. Father has pulled these natural traits together to expand the ministry to which He's called me. It's not a big showy outreach, at all; but it speaks to hearts with very few words.
Every single High Holy Day this year was preceded by someone's rant out of the blue. Then every High Holy Day actually had an unavoidable problem as well as interruption that could have been avoided! In these situations, although I still had to repent for a few thoughts, my words were chosen carefully. As a matter of fact, that's one of the biggest lessons in grace I learned. There are going to be conversations with some people in which we must watch every word. Our job isn't to change the other person, but rather take the opportunity to learn to mete and monitor our own words. I came to realize very quickly that Father blessed me in that discovery. The folks I feel the most guarded in a conversation do most of the talking in all conversations! We really can't "out give" our Heavenly Father. The less we say in times of stress, the less can be misquoted and the fewer regrets.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of YHUH. Genesis 6:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of Elohim: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Messiah Y'hshuah unto good works, which Elohim hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
Grace is not the end of the journey. We do not receive the grace of our Heavenly Father to then sit back on our "blessed assurance" of our own idea of "righteous." Grace is given to begin the relationship with our Father and we are to walk in His grace to accomplish His purpose.