Amazing grace, saving grace, saying grace. Good grace, bad grace, there but for grace... What exactly is grace? And how do we give it, and receive it? The simple Christian definition of grace (the way I’m considering it) is: “unmerited divine assistance.” A secular definition is “unmerited goodwill.” Either way, by definition, grace is unmerited. It is undeserved. That's why it's wonderful to receive and often challenging to give. Offering grace & receiving grace are linked; I would say divinely, others might say cosmically. And who doesn’t want more grace in their lives? So how do we offer grace? Here are a few ideas: • Use gentle words, i.e. watch your tongue. You can’t take words back. • Show up, especially when it's clear that a person needs it • Be grateful in every situation, even in challenging circumstances • Look for instances to be proactive with grace. "I will act with grace." • Slow down. Grace usually happens thoughtfully & in small moments. Where do we tend to stumble? • Awareness. We need to be alert to the idea that we need to practice grace. • Readiness. We need to be ready to make an effort. Grace doesn’t happen if left to our own devices. • Forgive yourself for your mistakes, and others for theirs. As we move into the holidays where we’ll be saying grace & needing grace, this month's "thought idea" is to consider grace. What can you do to offer unmerited goodwill... on the roads, in homes, to family members, and even to people you’ve never met? And let me know how it goes! P. S. *A Quick Grace Assessment: With your permission, someone borrows your car and returns it with a broken tail light and scratched bumper (as above). How would you respond if it was your: • Spouse • Mother-in-law • Teenage son • Sister • Best friend • You Would each receive the same response?