Extending Grace

I'm involved in the process called growing up. That means I'm different today then I was one year ago.

The question is, "Am I changing for the better?"


We all hope for ourselves that we can answer yes.


But hope is funny. If it's not coupled with some action, it's about as valuable as Chucky Cheese tokens at the bank.


Over the years, I've attempted many self-improvements. Some have stuck and others have fallen by the way side. 


But there is one area I've been very focused on recently.


Communication




As a Christian, I hear a lot about the word "grace." Usually it's mentioned as God's grace extended toward us. And that's very important. 


But is there another kind of grace?


Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech be always with grace..."


Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth [or from your keyboard], but that which is good to the use of edifying; that it may minister grace unto the hearers."


"Grace" can be defined as "a manifestation of favor or goodwill." Grace is undeserved. It is not earned--it is extended by the giver. It is intended to benefit the recipient, not the giver.


This type of grace is what I am supposed to extend to other people.


Let me emphasize the "supposed to."


Lately I've been putting extra effort into responding to people (even when they are unreasonable, irrational, and/or just plain mean) with graceful words.


When people act childishly, I try to respond gracefully.


When people attack me, I try to respond gracefully.


When people laugh at me or mock me, I try to respond gracefully.


Yes, sometimes that means I have to swallow my pride and take a hit. Sometimes it means I don't speak my mind. Sometimes it means I ignore the short-comings of others and try to be the person that I would like them to be--kind, intelligent, and helpful.


By intelligent, I mean understanding the situation. Often our speech gets us in trouble because we don't fully understand what the situation is. Our big mouth gets ahead of our brains and we end up regretting (and/or eating) our words.


I'm on a journey to become a graceful communicator. 


When people read my blog, I want them to get that impression. When I send emails at work, when I comment on Facebook, when I chat in the break room, or when I talk on the phone, I want people to hear graceful words.


I hope some of you will join me in this journey.


Image credits:

Girls talking image from http://hessesmadhouseannex.blogspot.com/2011/06/talking-behind-your-back-in-front-of.html

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