This is an (edited and extended) excerpt from one of my recent prayer newsletters that I have sent out...
GRACE in 2012
I have a strong sense that one of the big things that God wants me to learn this year is the virtue of grace. It has been creeping up in almost every area of my life. Let me explain further:
Church and Ministry
After a lot of self assessment, I have felt that one area that I need to grow in my leadership skills is the concept of grace. I am a very logical, common sense and strategic thinker, which usually does not leave much room to express grace to those around me. In ministry, I have to communicate and deal with a lot of different types of people, and sometimes this is quite hard - manoeuvring through different personalities, different ideas and thought processes. God has been teaching me to allow for the different ways He has made each and every one of us, as long as all of us are focusing on His glory and building His kingdom. This has been an area which I think God wants me to learn to deal with better.
Church and People
With going to more services on a Sunday and talking to many different people, I feel that God is teaching me to be more gracious to those I come in contact with, whether it be tolerating their differences or being able to empathise or sympathise with others. Many people come from backgrounds and have quirks that I am not used to, but I need to show love as Jesus did - to everyone unconditionally.
I’ve recently moved out and am living with two Christians who are both close friends. Even though we are good mates, we all have different expectations and ways of doing things. I have lived with just mum and dad for most of my life, so I have not had other people constantly to deal with at home. Now I do, and I believe through this experience, God is teaching me to be gracious in this setting. God's also teaching me to decide what matters are small (and can be tolerated) and what matters are big and need to be dealt with.
God has really been convicting me to truly grasp the grace He has shown me through Jesus on the cross. Being a logical thinker, sometimes I take for granted this undeserving free gift that God has given me through Jesus. God wants me to be truly impacted and changed because of grace demonstrated through Jesus. He wants me to truly understand the immeasurable grace shown to me on the Cross of Christ, and to have a true desire to seek and reach the lost.