Back in the Dark Ages before computers everywhere, I stood in line to register for my undergraduate college classes. – long lines and no guarantees you’d get the classes you needed. In Freshman year, of course you signed up for everything ” _____ 101.” One course I never saw, though, is one that should be mandatory, a prerequisite for all of us in the “Human-ities” major, but few of us ever seem to even enroll for this one, much less complete the course: Relationships 101.
I thought today how profoundly simple and straight-forward this should be for each of us. They syllabus would be short and clearly direct, with emotional and behavioral objectives short and sweet, and the professor considered the greatest authority subject because he died to prove it:
Week 1: The Students Will Know deeply that they aren’t perfect and they need grace extended to them on every side.
Week 2: TSW Know deeply the only One who truly gives that kind of unconditionally accepting grace.
Week 3: TSW Know the gret price paid for them to be covered in grace, and that they did nothing nor could they ever do anything to “earn” it.
Week 4: TSW Know that because they have been lavished with loving grace, they are called to extend that same kind of grace to other imperfect persons.
Week 5: Final Project TSW will apply the grace they live within in every situation and to every person they encounter.
Sadly there are no guarantees that when you extend what you’ve learned in Relationship 101, the other person or people will respond in the same way. Not everyone registers for this course, known in the vernacular as Christianity as taught by Jesus, Yeshua himself, the author and giver of Grace. What do I do then? I only know that we are not to take offense or hold bitterness in our hearts. Easier said than done, but given grace, we are called to give grace.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
For by grace you were saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
See that no one returns evil for evil to anyone, but always follow after that which is good, for one another, and for all.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 World English Bible
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34-35
How can I call myself His if I don’t know I need Jesus, don’t know how much it cost him to meet my need, don’t know he did it willingly, and don’t willingly give grace out of the grace I’ve been given?
A “…BUT… “to move: Mighty loving Father God, you extend such limitless grace to me that it is more than I can feel worthy to accept some days. But that feeling denies your heart to give and denies the power of the Blood that covers my imperfections and just plain willful sin. Jesus, give me more of you, the reality of your grace, so I can give grace to ___________________________________, Amen!