Friday, February 5, 2016

Grace Wins Again

Grace Wins Again

   I've been thinking a lot about something that Jon Acuff said a few weeks ago. He said "Using cynicism to protect yourself from the bravery that having hope requires is the sneakiest form of cowardice there is." Well, Jon was talking about setting goals and keeping goals and doing all the things that need to be done in order to achieve your goals, and he was absolutely right.  
     What really got me, though, was that cynicism is inherently sneaky and, by its very nature, cowardly. It doesn't seem like it, but it is. 
      A good friend of mine pointed this out to me recently when we were discussing a popular YA novel. One of the main characters always "won" the disagreements because she always resorted to cynicism and it's so hard to argue with cynicism. 

    - I can't believe you fell for that.   
    - You really think that's going to work? Please.
    - Yeah, right, because (insert more sarcasm here).

  These are just hypotheticals that I'm making up on the spot, but don't you hear the scornful tone? Can't you just hear the arrogance and superiority? Haven't you felt your heart just deflate when you've spoken optimism and had someone douse the warmth with cold cynicism? Did it make you doubt yourself? Me too.
       Is there a point to this, because it's getting depressing in here.  Yes. I have a point. I think there's something that's even harder to argue with than cynicism. 


Proverbs 15:1 says "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." 

      Did you notice that? Turns away wrath. So even if it's already headed for us, a gracious answer can diffuse a conflict. Have you ever been in a situation where someone wants to make a game out of something that shouldn't be a competition?  

      -Is Billy still having a hard time learning to read? My Sally made honor roll. Again. 
      -My boyfriend bought me five dozen roses. Do you have any plans for Valentine's Day this year?
       -I love our new house. I just finished painting all the walk-in closets. Have you found a house in your price range yet?


      My nature wants to fight back. To put them in their place. To play- no, to win the game they dragged me into. But I don't have to play along and there's no winner in those types of games anyway. Just pettiness and selfishness.  But grace wins. Grace lets us surrender our pride and put our attackers into God's capable hands. It's a much better place for them to be than behind us at an imaginary finish line. 



  1. Me too! Since I wrote this God has been giving me lots of opportunists to practice being gracious. Not easy.