Thursday, March 27, 2008

...across the room for grace, part 2....

Can you stand another post on my little study on "Grace"?  I wondered why this book grabbed me so, but the more I read and think about it the more I realize that I have shared very little grace with those around me.  Shamefully little, really.  Not surprising then that I feel the need to savour this topic and let it permeate my life.
After my last post I read about grace in our relationships.  Blackaby talks about words a lot. Words of life and death.  I took my grandson to a local fast food chain this week and as I stood in line to get his food and my coffee I heard at least three mothers speak what I would call "death words" to their little children.  I witnessed body language and looks of fear, rejection, humility, and failure as the mothers hissed and frowned at their children.  It made me so sad. Blackaby talks about ONE incident when he was in grade twelve that haunted him throughout his life.  It was ONE teacher, telling him ONE time as he was falling behind in French class, that he had Fungus for a brain!  Suddenly a bright high school student with university and degrees in his future decided he was not bright enough to pursue those dreams.  Thankfully his parents were more encouraging than his teacher.  Years later, after graduate school and two degrees as he entertained the idea of trying for a PhD program those words haunted him again.  In order to qualify for the program he needed two years of German and one year of French.  He was discouraged and afraid of failure.  This time though, his professor gave words of grace and talked too him as if he assumed Blackaby could do it and kept affirming him and his capabilities.  It made all the difference in the world.  Every time we talk to another person, be it a spouse, child, friend, co-worker, we have the capability to speak life or death words.  The quality of our relationships depends a lot on our words.  The author says that many adults find it very difficult to bless another person.  It could be deep insecurities they are struggling with, a subconscious fear that by lifting up another person they will somehow lower themselves (that's almost a direct quote).  Some are too needy or self-centered to extend grace to anyone else.  He says that when you are raised on a diet of criticism and ugly talk you are prone to poison your own family the same way.  Adults from all walks of life bear scars from death words.  HERE is the good news though.  God can TRANSFORM ANYONE into a person of grace if we are willing to be transformed!  It is Satan who is the father of lies (John 8:44).  He is the master of deception, making people feel worthless, unimportant, excluded, inferior, unlovely, and unforgivable and people BUY THESE LIES AND BELIEVE IT!  
He quotes Isaiah "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of great things!"
God is in the business of transforming and changing lives.  We are not meant to carry the scars of a dysfunctional past to our graves.  There is healing and restoration available for EVERYONE if we just allow God to take us on that journey.  He will produce in us love, joy in the midst of whatever is going on in our lives, peace in every situation, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (see Gal. 5:22).
I can't wait to read further in this book!

(note...not necessarily direct quotes, but pretty close from this book.  I don't take credit for most of this... these are Blackaby's thoughts for the most part... I'm just too lazy to 'direct quote')


Stacey said...

I appreciate it that you don't "direct quote". I like hearing what people are getting out of what they are learning/reading in their own words. I still haven't picked up this book, but the more I read on your blog about it the more I want to. Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

Elayne ..... over the past three months I've been SO convicted with my "graceless" words - especially to my children. In fact four weeks ago a friend and I became accountability partners in relation to this exact topic (both in regards to our children (and all are adults!)). My YEARS of regret sometimes overwhelm me but yet it seems impossible to change my words to those that instill LIFE instead of death. I'll go get this book you're studying and truly begin allowing GOD'S grace to change me. Thank you for sharing. (Renita)

Dayna said...

occasionally, when i have gone through my own list of blogs to check and still have some more time, i like to come catch a glimpse into your heart. and today, it was almost like i was catching a glimpse of my own! in so many ways the book you are reading reminds me of one i just finished (bless and be blessed by peter lord). it focuses on how WE are blessed by God and how we CAN and SHOULD bless those around us by speaking words of LIFE.

convicting stuff. that book, your blog, and all the other ways God has been speaking to me on this topic of words. (spoken by others, myself, and Him)