When you dare to be generous with grace

Column Post by Lakin Easterling

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind…Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 2: 1-2, 5 {ESV}

There is an enormous need for the people of God to be generous. There is an enormous need for His children to be open, grateful, and kind, of the same mind as their Father of Love. There is too much greed, too much self-promoting, too much of a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality—so much that we are at risk of running the riverbed dry, cracking relationships into dust, parching people when we should have given them an ever-flowing cup of love.

If God is the Living Water {and we are made in His image, after all}, then shouldn’t we be flowing free, unhindered grace?

When Paul is talking to the church in Philippi, he’s asking them to just play nice for a few minutes, while he’s away. In prison. He’s asking that they remember the message they heard, the message of God’s generous love, and that they remember the result of that: unwarranted forgiveness, the daily grace of a new morning, the riches of an abundant life, living by the transformation of mercy that wasn’t deserved at all, but was given anyway, without a grudge or expectation of repayment.

I’m reading a study with a group of women over at She Reads Truth, on Philippians. This particular passage reminded the lovely writers of a parent leaving her kids to play, pleading with them “Just for two minutes, please, just get along!”

While I can attest to my mother pleading with my sisters and me to do the same thing, I can also attest to the fact that the brothers and sisters I have in Christ are sometimes the hardest to get along with. Not necessarily because I don’t like them, but because when I approach God’s kingdom, I approach it like a self-made heir of spiritual riches, with a sense of entitlement that everyone and everything fit exactly with what’s kosher to my spiritual walk.

Instead, I need to remember that I am a grafted heir, held onto the vine of Christ—by His choosing, His grace—along with all the other grafted graces of my surrounding brothers and sisters. It is my choosing to adapt to this rich and healthy vine that will decide whether I live or die. I can choose life, or I can choose to be stubborn. I can choose to let others flourish, or I can steal their nourishment.

Being gracious is the attitude of those who are awake to the grafting God is continually working in our souls. Let’s be gracious, friends. Let’s be brave and get along, in love and servitude, with the vines surrounding us.

Let’s love one another, and live.

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Lakin Easterling is a wife, mother, writer, and avid reader. She spends her days chasing her toddler, Belle, and conversing with the elderly who are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. She loves surprise coffee dates with her husband Luke, texting novels to her best friend, Laura Hyers, and being a college student. She dreams about being brave enough to get a tattoo, and believes in the healing power of a good cup of coffee. Her favorite nail polish is Sail Away by Milani. She blogs at http://threadingsymphonies.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

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