Reflecting on Grace

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye." ~ Matthew 7:1-5 (NASB)

Valerie and I attended a one-day marriage conference in Rogers this weekend hosted by NWA Healthy Marriages and the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University. The event was extremely well done, and I would highly recommend attending next year.

One of the points that was made during the conference was how often in our relationships, we tend to focus on the weaknesses of others rather than their strengths. And it’s just pointing out their weaknesses verbally (whether its to them or gossiping about them to another person), but how we think about the other person.

If you were to do an assessment on your own relationships, would you say this might be an area that needs some work in your own life?

This verse from Matthew 7:1-5 has always been an important one in my life. How quickly we can be to look at and criticize the “speck” in someone’s eye, and yet we are standing there with a “log” in our own eye? We are instructed to take care of our own issues, our weaknesses, before we even try to point them out in others.

The phrase that says, “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you,” is extremely significant. I think it means a few things: I think it could be a measure of judgment, but that it could also be a measure of grace. You see, we have been given such incredible grace by God and we are called to reflect His grace into our relationships – both at home and in the workplace. I believe when we are quick to judge and our measure of grace we offer is oftentimes immeasurable, we do a disservice to the grace that God has shown to us in our own lives.

You see, your life is a living testimony of what God has done and continues to do in renewing and transforming your life. What takes place during your time at church must translate into how you live and love on Monday morning! You cannot compartmentalize how you act and how you love based on who you are around or where you are at. God is calling us, He is calling you, to live a life of worship, that your words and actions, your love, the way that you lead others in your home and in your office - would bring glory and honor to God.

I want to challenge you to focus this week on your relationships. If you are married, invest time in your spouse this week. Focus on his/her strengths and bring them out through a note or a special date – do something that will be uplifting and encouraging to them.

If you are in a position of leadership, take a moment and say “thank you”. Find something that one of your employees is doing well and put it on the table and acknowledge it. Don’t do it for any other reason than to encourage them.

This week, remember the amazing grace that God has shown in your life, and show grace to those God has placed in your life at home and also at work.

A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.
— William Arthur Ward