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Harbor of Hope

Staff Blog - Grace in Action

Grace in Action

Posted by Danielle Athanas on

I am broken. I am a sinner.

This is important when I think about grace in action in my own life because if I don’t start from this point then I am losing sight of the beautiful gift of grace that God has given us in the sacrifice of His only son, Jesus. A Jesus who time and again taught us that when it comes to judgment of others that we must first look at ourselves and see our own imperfections.

The Pharisees wanted so badly to trap Jesus and trick Him and there are many times in scripture you can see them trying to trip Him up in His teachings so that they could convict Him of something, anything. In John 8 they drag a woman who was caught in the act of adultery before Him. “The law of Moses says to stone her!” the Pharisees protested, hoping that Jesus would say something to incriminate Himself.

Rather than argue with those who were trying to entrap Him, Jesus paused for a bit and then simply responded “All right, but let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone.”

Every time I read these verses, I picture myself in the crowd. I picture the times I have judged people, that I have thought myself better than others, that I have held the sin of another over them. I can feel the weight of the stone in my hand to cast at them – and I can feel myself put it down. I can see the woman walk away, nothing but a grateful heart to be seen in her tear-filled eyes. Scripture doesn’t describe the woman’s face – but can’t you just imagine it? Does not this imagining help us to feel compassion for others?

The longer I have been in a journey with Jesus, the more I have realized the love He has for all of us, that God’s grace has no boundaries.

I am broken. I am a sinner.

There are times when I feel attacked and I may last out and cite the verses in Matthew 7 where Jesus says “How can you think of saying to your friend ‘Let me get rid of that speck in your eye’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?” – but if I pause, if I slow down in these times then I realize that I am doing the same thing. If I have the humility to examine my own faults, shortcomings, and sins then I am much slower to point out those of others. When I remind myself that I have faults and areas in which to grow then I am more likely to withhold my judgments and instead see people as God sees them.

Because I am broken too. Because I am a sinner too.

In God’s eyes, we are all equal. He does not withhold love from one of us because we have ignored His plans for our life. He does not decide that one of us is greater than the other because of how “good” we are or the choices that we have made. When Jesus died on that cross He did it for each and every child of God, each and every one of us.

We need to put down our stones and stop focusing on the specks in the eyes of others. We need to remember that we each carry our own dysfunction and that God loves us anyways. We need to look at each other the way that God does and then maybe – just maybe – we will begin to really and truly love one another and see more honest and genuine acts of human compassion and grace in our daily lives. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:10 that “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

I am broken. I am a sinner.

And God has gifted me with beautiful, amazing grace in spite of that.

It’s up to me to put that gift into action.