Over the last few days a couple of incidents have occurred which have made me think- if you’ll allow me to recount them, I’ll explain all afterwards!
On Friday night, we went out with work for a few drinks in honour of someone leaving. I saw what I thought was an empty chair, and started pulling it towards the table we were at. Problem is, I did not see the gentleman who was about to sit down on it. He fell to the floor, much to the amusement of my co-workers. I apologised profusely to the man on the spot, but he spent much of the next half hour quite obviously fuming, and giving me dirty looks from time to time.
Yesterday, while I was out running, I crossed the road without looking (please nobody tell Tufty!) and a car that was turning the corner ponked its horn at me angrily as it had to stop to account for this act of idiocy. The driver was visibly annoyed and was gesticulating wildly with his hands. I turned round and mouthed an apology to him, but he just glared at me and shook his head.
I’d been thinking over the last two days about how disappointed I was about the lack of grace these two men showed me, but then it occurred to me that I felt I should have had a smile and a “don’t worry about it” for my apologies, when in reality I wasn’t owed anything. They were right to be at least a little annoyed due to my carelessness, especially in the second instance. I got what was due to me- and I guess the best apologies I can make are to make sure that such things don’t happen again by paying more attention in such circumstances.
The point is that this is why grace is grace. It is undeserved by definition, and it is a therefore a contradiction to expect it from anyone, let alone a creator God whose standards I am so far from reaching off my own bat. Thanks to the supreme Grace of Jesus, all those who believe in him are now credited with this righteousness. It is this that we must remember when we feel we are wronged (and even when we are treated well!)- our attitude to this will go a long, long way to being a light to those who do not believe and building up those who do.
Grace, grace, and grace again.