My favorite high school teacher was Mrs. Wendy Alsup, who made algebra fun and did frequent devotions before beginning the lessons. One day, when browsing the Mars Hill Church website, I ran across an audio recording from a women's conference with her teaching. In doing a bit more scouting, I realized she must now live in Seattle and attend Mars Hill. I forgot all about it and then this morning I ran across her blog (Practical Theology for Women) where she recently posted some great thoughts about grace. I especially loved these thoughts about when others sin:
We must first examine ourselves--do I have a firm grasp on my own sinful, selfish tendencies? Do I agree with Paul that I am the chiefest of sinners? Is it just an accepted Christian saying to me or do I have a firm grasp on the depth of my own personal need for God's grace? It is only those who fully grasp their own depravity and the depth of God's grace toward them despite their own abuse of it who have any power to speak to another about their sin. And, then, the root of any confrontation must be the gospel of grace.This is a great summary of things I have become convinced of over the last few years. I believe strongly that if more Christians truly grasped this and believed it to the very core, our relationships would be radically transformed, both with other Christians, our families, and those who don't know Jesus. The Lord said, "They will know you by your love for one another." I think the kind of sacrificial love He modeled for us is only possible when we understand that we have earned nothing but gained everything. Then our witness to His grace is effective, when we live in the truth of his unmerited favor with humility.