Grace will help us cope in dangerous situations, giving us the peace and strength we need. As church leaders, however, that inner boost needs to lead to outward responses in line with God’s character and ways — godly responses.
When the Unthinkable Happens, the Power of Grace Enables Godly Responses
Grace helps us know how to respond when the unthinkable happens by keeping bitterness and malice from taking root in our heart.
- Grace enables us to forgive our perpetrators. Consider Stephen in the early church, described as “a man full of God’s grace and power” (Acts 6:8). His response to the opposition and persecution he faced obviously grew out of these qualities. While being stoned, Stephen prayed, “‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59-60).
- Grace enables us to maintain integrity regardless of how others may respond. — “Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” (2 Cor. 1:12)
- Grace enables us to speak in ways that help those around us rather than make a bad situation worse. — “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col. 4:6)
- Grace enables us to keep a good attitude even through unfair, undeserved, and unprovoked perils. — “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Heb. 12:15)