Stacy and I settled in for a relaxing evening and turned on the newest restaurant makeover show. The star chef was determined to revitalize a slumping eatery in just 24 hours. (As a side-bar, I am thinking of doing the same kind of show for churches – 24 hour replants… who is in?!)
As the background rolled you immediately witnessed the dysfunction of the staff and vision of the restaurant and while there were many culpable parties I personally focused on the kitchen manager. I didn’t like the way he belittled and gossiped about the owner and he was clearly responsible for the failure of food quality and safety. Having pegged him as the problem I said out loud a couple of times, “He needs to go… fire that guy!”
Then the renovation and new birth began in earnest and there is a scene where the celebrity chef brings the negligent kitchen manager to a test kitchen to train him in the new menu. As he learns the skills needed to make these new delicious entrees, he tells his story of an absent father and a lack of passion for life and work. The f-bomb-dropping chef hears the pain, makes sure the manager knows he hears him and relates to him in shared story and dreams. He won’t give up on this guy and he hopes the manager won’t give up on him. He extends real grace in the face of failure and plants the seeds of transformation.
Watching it unfold I exclaimed that I couldn’t believe Gordon Ramsey was more gracious than me to which Stacy responded, “way to go pastor!”
Oh man, there are some many more examples I could use to make clear my often lack of grace toward others. Here I am the “grace junky” incapable of extending the grace I say I need so much. It is convicting. But it is not the end.
You see, when I run low on grace Jesus sends wave upon wave of more grace. When I don’t mirror the gift I am given in Jesus he gives in fresh, abundant ways. When I fail Christ holds me and tells me that his grace is sufficient, so much so that now I can learn and attempt to give grace to others. And this is true for you too.
Today, know that the grace of Christ is unending toward you. With it, Jesus calls you to real life, a gracious life. May we learn to extend this same grace that we would look and smell like Jesus!