Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What is a Gracious Person Like?

What is a Gracious Person Like?

Ah. Such a great post. :) I love to read Jim Martin's post, and even read his comments. Though I don't know this brother in Christ personally, one can tell that he really is a very gracious person. For me, he's one of my role models in godliness and graciousness, just by reading his posts.

I know a few other people in church who live and breath a spirit of graciousness. They really are a joy to be around with - you know they don't just minister to you because they should... they genuinely enjoy your company and never fail to see the good in you. For example, Andrew Er, my neighbour and bro in Christ. He's really a very gracious brother... yes, he's a choleric and task-oriented person and can actually be assertive... but you'd never know it from his spirit of grace that keeps overflowing from him. He's another role model for me too. =)

There are other brothers whom I'm genuinely blessed. God knows who you are... =) And oh, dear Weizhu, you are one of the most gracious brothers I've ever known. You constantly live a life of grace - ever since you were my shepherd all the way up to now, you have always inspired me with your life of constant graciousness and kindness. :) Deeply thankful to God for you, and for the privilege of being your friend in Christ.

Graciousness is reserved for people who recognize 
that they are privileged to receive what they have been given. Or as Fred Craddock once said, “The final act of grace is graciousness.”

What is a gracious person like?

A gracious person is slow to take credit and quick to lavish praise.

A gracious person never seeks to embarrass another. Humiliating another is not in this person’s vocabulary. (Please don’t say something that humiliates another and then try to escape responsibility by saying, “I was only joking.”)

A gracious person is always thanking others. Do you go through an entire day without thanking another?

A gracious person doesn’t monopolize the conversation. Someone else has something to offer.

A gracious person doesn’t try to play one-upmanship. (“That’s nothing, you should have seen what I did!”)

A gracious person pays attention to people. Sometimes people come away from such conversations saying, “He made me feel like I was the most important person at that moment.”

A gracious person desires to say what is appropriate. (There is no redeeming value in emptying one’s mind of whatever fleeting thought has happened to land at the moment.)

A gracious person looks out for the comfort of others. 

A gracious person looks for the good. Maybe 
you are visiting a friend who lives in another place. Instead of 
pointing out the inadequacies of your friend’s community, you are 
constantly finding things that are good. “This cafe has outstanding
 peach pie! That was delicious.” “I just love the way you have planted
 your garden. It is beautiful!”

I believe that in so many of us, there is a genuine hunger 
to experience the beauty of graciousness. After all, this is nothing
 more than grace lived out. And — that grace originates in the heart of God.

I'm far from being a gracious person. In fact, I tend to be a critical person. But ever since God touched my heart with a fresh song of grace back in 2005, I realized that there really is a sweeter song of the Christian life than what I had seen and heard during my earlier days in church... and thank God, I saw and heard grace in various little nooks and crannies in my own church too. Hee. Yeah, had seen "tough love" and stern faces calling us to a higher calling... and the slower ones being considered as 'not doing well'...

But through the years that God grew our church, I saw grace roll over our silly notions of spirituality like a mighty river, righteousness like a never-failing stream. Grace that flows from broken - and healed - hearts. =)

Ah. See? Even now how I harp on and on about the past. Yet, I see grace... and I don't just want to receive grace... I want to pass it on. I want to be compassionate and gracious, like my God, my God, the compassionate and gracious God.

Psalm 103 :)

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