Spotlight on Grace, the Sometimes Misrepresented Divine-Inspired Value

Today’s nutritional diet for the soul took a closer look on a loosely used and misrepresented collective virtues of a given grace. Grace, in Latin and as a noun comes from the word gratia which means among other things, goodwill. As a verb and in French, it originates from the word graciier which connotes, to add favor or goodwill.

When we say, “give others grace,” what does it mean? Are there prerequisites when granting grace to others? Do we have to be in the right state, health, or condition to give others favors? And is there such a thing as the right time for grace?

Ephesians 2:8 tells me that by grace I have been saved through faith and that this wasn’t because of my own doing. It was God’s gift to me. And so, my way of honoring Him is by sharing a gift of grace inspired by His message.

Suffering from constant pains and discomfort, I can tell you that my faith helps me stay positive, hopeful, and gracious. And the grace I enjoy and get to share plays a significant part in being able to do what I do every day. Although, it hasn’t escaped me that some people, including people I know, are quite challenged in understanding how grace works. However, instead of focusing on their inability to express a right amount of empathy and get frustrated in the process, I’m practicing grace under pressure, or at least I’m trying. I’m learning more about the real essence of gracious civility. And I’m aiming for a calmed heart when the easy option is to wish an offender ill thoughts.

By doing it over and over, gracing an undeserving someone had become fairly effortless on my part. Still, there would be moments when it’s not as automatic as I’d hope for; especially during times when I would feel extra irritated and almost consumed by physical discomforts and pain due to a chronic illness. Just the same and generally, I refuse to make my condition an excuse for being rude or offensive to other people.

firomite

I am a fibromite, a nickname given to people who suffer from Fibromyalgia. I am also a spoonie. A spoonie, are individuals who suffer from a chronic illness like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythematosus, just to name a few. It originated from a blog written by Christine Miserandino, entitled The Spoon Theory. She made an illustration of a theoretical measurement of her ability to do daily tasks using spoons. She explains that sometimes she begins with a hefty inventory of spoons, while there were also days when she comes up short. Her domain which is aptly named, but you don’t look sick, presents a well-written journal about the life of a person who doesn’t look she suffers from a chronic illness.

What is Fibromyalgia?

As a fibromite and a spoonie, I would rather tell you I’m okay rather than waste my spoons trying to make you understand what my day was like. You don’t have to get yourself familiarized to any of my fibro symptoms, or psychoanalyze my frame of mind, assume what’s on my mind, or worse, speak on my behalf. Nonetheless, if you’re in my space, I would require you to be uber mindful of your intentions, words, and tone.

I’m a wholehearted person, but if my fibro flare would show up, you’re hang-ups, and current situation would be the least of my concern. Today, I’m deciding to excuse no longer, or justify any rudeness, mean, ill-intentioned behaviors, or harsh tones and poorly chosen words being presented as a loving concern to me.

A word out of your mouth…can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can…turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it….” ‭‭James‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

And although I am committed to a lifestyle of gracious civility, I will nevertheless make it known that grace is never about giving others the permission to disturb my peace nor is it about granting them a pass for promoting terrible assumptions and provocations. Gracious Civility is a timeless virtue. It’s embracing and putting into action the lost art of forgiving. It’s keeping the lessons learned. It’s civilly challenging a transgression while walking away from the negativity and hostility. It has the courage to move forward while every fiber of me says otherwise. 

However, grace does not condone offenses; nor does it sweep the inflicted pain under the rug.

Romans 6:12 says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

Grace, as I see it, is a bestowal of blessings to undeserving individuals, instead of wishing them a bad karma. And I opine that grace is only a grace if it meets certain factors such as the following: it’s freely given; it doesn’t ask for a payback; it’s not time-sensitive; the recipient doesn’t deserve your compassion and consideration; it doesn’t enable a bad behavior; it recognizes the offense committed.

On a different note, here’s sharing a photo of the comfort soup I cooked today, Garlic and Thyme Chicken Soup. The ingredients include shredded whole chicken, thyme, garlic bulbs, onions, sage, laurel leaves, carrots, barley, split yellow peas, brown rice, 3 liters of water, salt and pepper to taste. Preparing this meal had cost me a spoon.

fibropowersoup

May we all continue to practice grace even during moments when it almost feels impossible to do so.

 

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