1 Peter 1:12-17 Even the angels are eagerly watching . . . So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. . . And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites.
The pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable (Wikipedia).
Rare, fine, admirable and valuable. Like grace. And graciousness.
Here’s something I’ve been wondering: In this post-election transition, will we who follow Christ evidence grace? Will we attract people to God because our graciousness reflects his character?
I’m thinking, as I write this, of two people who model this for me, even though they think differently from me politically. I’ve learned to pay attention to their quiet service and the gracious words they say. Their winsomeness teaches and inspires me to find my center once again in God.
The Scriptures are full of God’s graciousness. And we are called to be like him, to show the world what he is like. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your speech be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone (Colossians 4:6). A tall order? Absolutely. It’s a huge challenge. And a huge opportunity.
To help myself in taking advantage of the new opportunity we have post-election to honor God, I wrote down eight bedrock beliefs that can undergird graciousness, allowing me to speak gently from a position of confidence. The first is this: My trust is in God. Anyone, anything less will disappoint me.
Scripture tells me what to call my misplaced trust: idolatry. And it tells me what to do about idolatry in my life: repent, and turn back to God, who in his grace runs to meet me. And restore me.
The enemy of our souls, the accuser, wants to hijack us into behaving like him, rather than like God. He plays dirty. He does his work subtly, making use of even the noblest of causes (like concern to protect the unborn) to push us into speaking and acting in unholy ways that hurt others, divide us, and most importantly, hurt our chances of communicating God’s grace clearly to those already born.
All the while, God loves. He loves the people of this world. He calls us to love even (or especially) those we’ve been taught to consider “enemies” his Beloved. I MUST be careful about how I think and how I talk to and about these precious ones whom God loves. With Calvary love, as great a love as he has for me.
Even the angels are watching.