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Bitter or Better?
Grace

Bitter or Better?

Posted by Regi Campbell on June 30, 2014

One of the most gentle people I know has a customer who hates him. He’s made up his mind and there’s no changing it. My friend goes the extra mile and then 7 more for his customers. I can’t imagine anyone hating him. Heck, I can’t imagine any one not liking him. But this customer sets expectations that are impossible to meet and change by the hour. “There’s just no way to win him over” says Pat.

Ever know someone like that? Someone you had to walk away from for your own health and sanity? A person who was angry and bitter . . . about everything?

Here’s a principle –

            How you respond to the issues of life will make you bitter or better.

I’ll go further.

  • If you’re a ‘law’ person, you’re headed toward bitterness.
  • If you’re a ‘grace’ person, you’ve got a shot at a better life.

‘Law’ people use the word “should” a lot. “He should come back and fix that for free. After all, it’s only been 6 years!” “She shouldn’t have cut in front of me.” “They should let my kid be the starting pitcher. He’s earned it by playing right field all these years.”

‘Law’ people banter fairness around a lot too. “It’s just not fair.” “They should do their part.” ”I’ve been here longer than her. Why is she getting the promotion?” “Not fair it rained on my wedding day.” ”Not fair I’m getting laid off!” ‘Law’ people decide what’s fair . . . the way things should be and how people should act, then spend their life full of disappointment, anger and resentment because what they thought should be . . . wasn’t.

‘Grace’ people on the other hand, use the word ‘thank you’ a lot, especially when they’re talking to their Heavenly Father. They know God loves them immeasurably and He’s trustworthy, so they can relax. ‘Grace’ people take things as they come. ‘Grace’ people ‘live and let live’. ‘Grace’ people give grace (undeserved blessing) because they’ve been given Grace (undeserved blessing). They don’t presume what should be . . . they’re grateful for what is.

They find a way to be thankful for everything, no matter how hard.

I keep being haunted by Watchman Nee’s teaching that our response to every situation should be “What can I give?” Because Jesus’ death on the cross was totally about giving, our lives are to be marked by gratitude and giving, not expecting and judging. In Christ, through Christ, for Christ, we should be the most gentle, peaceful, laid-back people on the planet. Our Savior has already won the battle, secured our future, and holds the outcome of everything in His hand.

We have the potential to add peace, love and compassion to every person we meet. Granted, it’s easier with ‘grace’ people than with ‘law’ people. But we’re taking up God’s job when we battle with bitter people. If we can’t show them the love of Jesus, maybe we can at least do what He did . . . shut up – or just walk away.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

 

Question: Are you more of a ‘Grace’ person today than you were yesterday? Last month? A year ago? Will you decide to become more of a ‘Grace’ person starting now? Tell us here.

Responses (8)

Pastor Franklin King
Pastor Franklin King Posted: June 30, 2014, 1:44 pm

That’s a good word…thanks for sharing. I think I am more a grace person, but at times the old law person rises up in me, and tries to take over.


Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: July 1, 2014, 12:03 pm

Thanks Pastor.


Jason Buker
Jason Buker Posted: June 30, 2014, 5:56 pm

I am a grace person.The Lord told me years ago=Jason your attitude will determine your defeat or your victory!So I think based on what he said to me.Is this if you become unforgiving and become offended than you allow negative energy to grow within you.Then that negative energy will grow and produce a manfestaion of those feeling’s and you plant srife,disunity,contention,bitterness,and resentment!Then you gown the ever down spiral of life and live as an angry old man!Then no-one likes you because you wasted your life on being negative and frankly people don’t want to be around you.They don’t want to be around a person who is cranky all the time!


Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: July 1, 2014, 12:02 pm

You’re spot on Jason. Jesus was so attractive to folks, especially those outside the religious establishment. It’s outside our comfort zone to hang out there, but I believe it’s our mission field!


Donnie
Donnie Posted: June 30, 2014, 10:57 pm

I AM VERY GRATEFUL THAT I AM A GRACE PERSON. THIS ARTICLE GIVES EXCELLENCE EXAMPLES OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAW AND GRACE AND MAKES IT VERY EASY TO UNDERSTAND. I HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN A GRACE PERSON BUT THE MORE I’M TRANSFORMED BY THE WORD OF GOD THE MORE GRACE LIVES IN ME. BECAUSE OF THIS GRACE HAS BECOME MY WAY OF LIVING. MANY OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY VIEW THIS AS A WEAKNESS BUT I KNOW THAT IT’S A STRENGTH THAT GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH. LIVING UNDER AND BY GRACE MAKES LIFE SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.


Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: July 1, 2014, 12:01 pm

Thanks Donnie. I find a tension between the two. Sometimes, I feel I’m diluting the law by being so full of grace. Then God reminds me it’s His law, not mine. Not mine to enforce on others, just mine to obey.


Ken Colson
Ken Colson Posted: October 5, 2014, 11:16 pm

Thanks, Regi. I have been in the Grace bootcamp for several years. It has been humbling and freeing to learn that I do not have to make all of the life decisions nor pass judgement for those around me. I have the freedom to love each person who comes into my life just as Jesus loves me.
I used several lines from this post in a devotion for our choir with complete credit to you, also urging members to look up your blog.


Regi Campbell
Regi Campbell Posted: October 11, 2014, 11:43 pm

Thank you Ken. I’m trying to move my Myers Briggs numbers from ‘judging’ to ‘perceiving’. I don’t want to lose my ‘fresh eyes’ and objectivity. But I don’t want to love people less for the mistakes they make, the sins they do and the character flaws they have. God doesn’t love me any less, so I must ‘love’ through those perceptions regardless. Thanks for reading and for being in the “Grace Camp” with me.


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