Grace Enables the Fulfilment of Promise

When you think of the word “grace” a variety of definitions may come to mind, including a lady’s name, an expression of elegance (she moves with grace), or possibly deeper religious connotations, such as a prayer spoken before a meal, or a definitive move of God. My definition of grace in the context of resilience is “the safe space where we take 100% accountability for our actions, reconcile our mistakes and then move back into alignment with the delivery of promise”.

I understand that no one is perfect, so I choose to embrace life, self and others with grace, neutralizing fear through empathy and compassion, enabling peace, growth, and fulfillment. Promise is the “indication of something favourable to come; expectation”.

Think of a time when you might have heard someone say, “that child has a lot of promise”. When we hear this we think of an expectation of a favourable growth in the child’s potential in the future. All children hold promise. It is inherent in their creature nature.

You were a child once. How do you view your promise today? How do you view your future? Do you hold a sense of anticipation, or do you feel that things will never change?  With all there is to explore in the wide open frontier of your spirit life, it seems reasonable and even probable that the potential for more is a given. Therefore, if you have lost an awareness of your promise, is it more likely that it is lost, or just your sense of it?

This has been a hard one for me at times. I have literally spoken the words, “I don’t feel like this will ever get better”, and “I have no vision for the future”. My internal critic has been persistent. It’s true, in many ways I am not the man I hoped I would be when I was younger. That’s not all bad — but not all of my decisions have been good ones. Regret becomes a burden that makes it more difficult remember promise.

Enter grace.

Empathy and compassion are part of the nature and character of grace. When I hear my internal critic speak, it may be factual, but not empathetic or compassionate. To grow beyond a mistake, empathy and compassion must be present to neutralize fear and despair and to return vision for future potential; promise.

We may or may not find it easy to be empathetic and compassionate toward others – but especially towards self. This kills promise. Grace restores it.  Grace is “the safe space where we take 100% accountability for our actions, reconcile our mistakes and then move back into alignment with the delivery of promise”. We gain nothing through regret, but we may lose much, and this is not required of us.

Let me go biblical for a moment to illustrate.

In the book of Matthew, it is recorded that Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”, to which Jesus replied, “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!” This can be roughly translated as “infinitely”.

Question: Would the God that asks us to forgive infinitely do any less for us? If he does, then why would we not forgive ourselves? How much promise is lost when we do not let go?

We can’t do anything about whether or not others choose to extend grace – but we are always free to choose it and to extend it – to life, others and self.