WARNING: May be Hazardous to Your Spiritual Health

Warning labels are everywhere. They are on bottles of medication, food packaging, cleaning supplies, etc.

As I was talking with some women in my weekly bible study class, we talked about how some people need their own warning label.

warning-sign-smallweWe were talking about how God’s glory shines through us so others may see HIS glory. We discussed that one way we demonstrate God’s glory is by our quickness to offer forgiveness, mercy and grace.

We talked about how we are quick to receive God’s grace, but we sinfully find ourselves offering grace to some and withholding it from others. And then one lady said something that made me laugh so hard because it’s true and it really resonated with me.

She said, “Some people should come with an ‘EGR’ warning label.” And I asked, “What’s ‘EGR’ stand for?”

She replied, “EGR stands for ‘Extra Grace Required’.” Grace is an abstract word that we hear often, but forget what it means. A gracious person is disposed to show favors and offers undeserved love.

This just tickled me, because I immediately started thinking about the people in my past and present situation that should have the EGR label floating above their head. I thought about past coworkers who made it challenging to work with, or bosses who made it difficult to work for. I thought about former students who made me want to grab my purse and walk out of the classroom and quit. Don’t tell my dad, but he needs the EGR label when I am helping him with anything related to the computer and technology.

All of those people really needed an extra helping of grace, but I certainly did not extend that extra grace they required. In hindsight I saw how I found myself justifying why they weren’t getting any special favors from me. They were rude to me! They didn’t follow the rules! They snapped at me first! They didn’t remember what I told them a hundred times!

But then…driving home the Holy Spirit squashed my ego and reminded me, “ummm…Katie….. take the log out of your eye! Do you realize that often times extra grace is required for YOU too?”

So I ask you… Who in your life requires EXTRA grace? Is it an aging parent or relative that needs extra patience? Is it one of your children who needs more understanding and patience than your other children? Is there a coworker who needs an extra dose of kindness?

If you find it difficult to offer extra grace, you know who you can look to for help- our Heavenly Father. He saw that this sinful world and all His children required extra grace, so He sent His Son to die on the cross to rescue us from sin and death. It is the ULTIMATE example of undeserved love.

Look what St. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (MSG):

Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs

The key words in this verse: “Attentive to individual needs.” Become aware to the people in your life who need the EGR label, and then GIVE them that extra grace. Just like the abounding and never ending grace YOU’VE been given by your Heavenly Father.

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