Are you a gracious person?
Not sure how to answer that, are you? Well, test yourself:
- How do you respond when someone cuts you off while driving?
- What do you tip a bad waitress?
- How well do you forgive when someone hurts you? purposefully? repeatedly?
- What is your preferred method of confrontation, bludgeoning or with kindness?
- When you're angry, what does it look like?
- When you're taken advantage of, when you're overlooked, when your rights are violated, when you're reviled, when you're mocked and despised, how do you respond?
- "...while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously..." I Peter 2:23
- "...who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men...He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross..." Phil. 2:6-8
- "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." II Cor. 8:9
When stress and temptation push our buttons, God wants us to respond in love - a love that is not ugly but rather gracious, kind and attractive...ugly love is not really love at all.