Conditional Grace

I've recently been added to a group on Facebook. There's a new rash of "You know you're from (or attended) :insertcityorschoolnamehere: if..." groups and I was added to the one from my High School.

Its been filled with posts about the ins and outs of attending said school as well as a lot of people that aren't my FB friends and who I was happy to mostly not have to speak to again.
It seems a little cliche to not enjoy the high school you attended, and it's not exactly that I didn't enjoy the high school that I attended or even the town I grew up in, really. I didn't mind it. But I also didn't like a lot of the people or things that happened there. Very typical small town and it's been interesting to see where people ended up and how people have changed, or in a lot of cases stayed the same.

Enter a sermon on judgement Sunday at church and it had me thinking a lot today about grace.

Because I am realizing more and more how I offer conditional grace.
I have a hard time letting people exit the boxes I remember them living in, the way I remember them being. Even though I loathe when that happens to me, when people don't let me evolve, change and mature I can't give everyone the same courtesy.

I'm learning how to walk the fine line between judgement and grace. I'm learning that just like with almost every other aspect in my life I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I'm the kind of girl that either believes there is redemption for people even when I can't see the possibility, or they are un-redeemable. I'm also learning that sometimes there are appropriate and correct boundaries that must be set.
See, I have this idea that I should give my all to everyone. That I should try to make them happy and comfortable and help their lives be as wrinkle-free as possible.

The only problem with that is I end up feeling left out, forgotten or I ultimately (or immediately) end up sacrificing my values, beliefs or mental/emotional well-being in the process.
I'm learning that I can't do it anymore.

I just can't.

I'm learning that I shouldn't either. That just because there should be grace, and that should cover everyone it is not my job to make things ok for them. Sometimes, things need to not be ok for other people.

It's the root of a lot of tension in my life right now as I move forward trying to begin relationships with healthy boundaries and build healthier boundaries into the existing relationships in my life. It's taking a lot of energy to seek God's will for what he wants in and around my life and to say no and stick to it when there are people and things in my life that I just can't abide any longer.
Because I'm stuck in that tension of being a people pleaser, wanting people to like me and want me around. I'm seeing more often how destructive and detrimental that is when I choose keeping others happy and content over doing what is right for my heart.

Even typing it I feel incredibly selfish. I want to qualify it with all sorts of reasons and examples of why it's important. But I'm not.
It's important because it's what God's asking me to do right now, and I do in fact need to do it with grace; especially when it impacts others.
Ben was right on the spot Sunday when he said that for generations we've offered either the truth without grace or grace without the truth.

I'm learning how to balance them both in the only messy and broken way that I know how.

1 comment:

James said...

This is great, Beth!