The Impacts of Grace: #3 My Perception of Others

Posted by donna on November 4, 2019

Before you judge, walk a mile in my shoes . . .    Grace impacts our life at times in ways we wished it didn’t. We all find it easy to rush to judgment based on outward appearances, rules, and our own sense of right and wrong. Judging others, in some way alleviates our own guilt until we’re confronted by grace. Why is that? Grace impacts our life.

If the impact of grace on my life first begins with my perception of God, then moves to my perception of myself, then the most logical next step is that: it impacts my perception of others. And therein lies the conundrum we often face. Before I judge, walk a mile in their shoes.

Re-enter the elder son. In the Parable of the Prodigal as told by Jesus in Luke chapter 15, the elder son was upset by the younger son’s return. It’s not recorded whether he was just as upset when his younger brother left, or whether he was upset when he received his half of the inheritance. But he was angry when his brother returned. He would not reconcile with his brother. He was angry at his father; he judged his brother’s actions and totally disregarded his own sin of moralism.

As grace impacts me, my perception of God changes. The Father never gave up the hope of the return of his lost son. As grace impacts me, my perception of myself changes. The lost son returns, recognizing he has given up the right to be a son. Yet, he is not cast out, he is restored as a son. Grace impacts my perception of others as I learn to see them as the Father see them. As Jesus sees them. As Jesus sees me.

bottle shoes.pngBob Pierce, founder of World Vision said; “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.” My perception of others needs to be as Jesus sees them, not as I see and judge them. Jesus views the lost with compassion, as sheep without a shepherd. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ... learn from me ... I am gentle ...  and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30). I’m starting to get the picture.

Grace impacts me the most when I learn to see others beyond the outward, beyond the sin, and the past, and the scandal and the reputation and the ... well, you fill in the blank. By grace, I begin to see others as the father saw his prodigal son; “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Do I have any right to act and respond any differently? I may be the younger son, the prodigal. I may be the elder son, the judging moralist. However, I must reflect the same love and grace that was first offered to me.

Before you judge, walk a mile in my shoes. Grace is a journey, sometimes painful as we learn to walk in another’s shoes, as we perhaps learn to walk in our own shoes in a brand-new way.

Allowing grace to impact my perception of others,

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Bill Allan 

AGC President

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