I'm starting to realize how much our true understanding of grace is shown in our response to the sin of others.
Not the "grace" that is relativistic, permissive...
Not the "grace" that utilizes shame as a tactic to maintain behavior...
The "Grace" that values the heart, that invests in people no matter the baggage or stain, that has higher and deeper standards for wholeness than the behavioral regulations of legalism. Truly, so beautiful.
Once in a while I encounter people who use the word "grace" in their every day Christian language like they are pro's at it but who cannot display with their actions the realities of "Grace". Tending towards anger issues and snap reactions. Incapable of the forgiveness they would long for from others. It's so frustrating because they just jump from church to church in constant dismay that "everyone else" can't get it together like they can. Sigh. (Yep, irony intended.)
But then there's Jesus. Oh, I love Him so much. He sees the heart. He sees the divine story written for that heart...and believes it can happen because of His Grace...no matter the unsightly condition to start with. I'm sure He loves accountability, healthy boundaries and all that...but He always offers His hand to get back up.
I think that's His heart for the church in America. The high hopes of His kingdom.
Now...to pray that into reality more. Sigh. Encounters with Jesus that redefine a poor definition.
Praying that for myself too. Goodness knows Jesus' Grace also has a heart for them too. ;)