Today I have to tell you a story about what my 5 year old son, Luke, did yesterday. If you remember, I mentioned in "Spats, Fridges, and Socks" that Luke is hilarious.
Yesterday at school Luke decided that it would be funny to take his underwear off and wear it on his head.....yes, he did. : ) Thankfully, Luke's teacher is wonderful and gives him a lot of grace. I have to admit, I thought it was pretty funny myself. (We did have a talk, however, about not EVER doing that again.) He didn't do it for attention, he really just wasn't thinking anything other than,"I think it will be funny to put my underwear on my head." After all, he has put underwear on his head at home and mommy laughed about it, so it must be funny and ok to do. If you knew my son, it really wouldn't surprise you that he did such a thing.
His teacher could have scolded him and took him to the Principal's office and really made him feel bad. Instead, she realized that he didn't really mean any harm in what he did, and he probably didn't even realize there was anything wrong with what he did.
She chose to take the path of grace.
Don't we all have "underwear on our head" moments from time to time? Don't we all need grace?
Webster's definition of Grace: Mercy, pardon
The Greek word for grace in the bible is "Charis" and it means: kindness given to one who does not deserve it.
How do we act when others do wrong, or when we do things that are wrong? Do we extend grace to them or to ourselves? Do we scold them and make them feel really bad? Are we critical and judgemental towards them or ourselves? Do we spend the day condemning ourselves or......... do we choose the path of grace?
"Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Eph 4: 31-32
The word above "forgiving" is "charizomai" from the Greek root "charis", and means to pardon. When someone offends you or mistreats you or accidentally cuts you off in traffic, you can get angry and let them have it or you can choose to overlook the offense.
"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression." Proverbs 19:11
I have heard it said that when you are tempted to be judgmental or critical, at that moment you should pray for that person. The waitress who is rude to you may have just had her husband leave her, or the person who cut you off in traffic might be on his way to the hospital. You never know what people are going through. We need to give each other grace.
So many times we are even hard on ourselves. I have a friend who shared with me how she would beat herself up all day if she missed her quiet time in the morning. We all mess up. When we mess up, we need to give ourselves grace as well. We need to realize what we did wrong, repent, and then ask for forgiveness. It needs to be sincere, but God isn't pleased when we beat ourselves up all day.
So, the next time you find yourself with an "underwear on your head" moment or someone around you has one, will you do what Luke's teacher did and choose the path of grace? We all need a little grace, I know I do.