One of the most difficult atmospheres to live in is one that is graceless in nature. You may find it in your marriage, your work place, your family, your church, even with yourself. Graceless atmospheres may be caused by several things:
- Perfectionism: Perfectionism is simply a nicer term for self-righteousness. Perfectionist must have everything “perfect” in the world around them before they can be happy or have a sense of self-worth. And, since we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, perfectionist make everyone around them miserable, including themselves.
- Legalism: Legalism carries with it the idea of judgment. If you don’t meet the specified standards, you are frowned upon, talked about, belittled, and finally judged. And, since the Word declares we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is plenty for the legalist to shoot at, except of course themselves. They are to busy dealing with the speck in your eye, to see the log sticking out of theirs.
- Negativism: Negativism is different from the above two in that negative people always look at others in a negative light. Instead of seeing the good in others, they choose to concentrate on the bad. In doing so, they bring out the worst in people instead of the best!
A graceless people may be the most ungodly of all.
I write that with the full force of the statement intended. The reason? The Bibles declares Jesus came full of grace and truth. Truth, any truth, apart from grace, may kill. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. For that to occur, there must be GRACE. Grace is the unmerited favor of God, given in spite of you, not because of you. You can do and say the right things and still be wrong if those things are not said and done with a measure of grace offered as well. Jesus spoke the truth, but He died so we might have grace when we don’t always measure up.
Are you graceless?
Oh you may speak “the truth” in your perfectionist, legalistic, and negativism with your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, your co-works, and your fellow church goers…but are you doing more harm than good? The reality is this, without grace, neither you nor those around you will ever flourish in life. Grace is the very air of the kingdom in which we live as believers. Without it, we die and so do others.