"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear," (Ephesians 4:29 NASB).
"Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person," (Colossians 4:6 NASB).
I don't think it's any coincidence that this same date last year I also wrote about grace.
My life is full of many challenges right now. My elderly mother is in the hospital struggling with a hip and shoulder replacement on her dominant right side; it's freezing in my home because the heat is off since our exterior doors are being replaced now instead of in autumn, as planned--just to name a few. As I wrote last year, I can't use my own strength or intelligence to get through the days ahead of me. I need grace, more than ever.
My mouth is the biggest problem I have. It runs in my head, trailing my thoughts all over the place, raising my blood pressure and making my stupid hot flashes worse than they already are, with results that don't edify anyone, even me. My fault, since I tend to feed my thoughts with "what if's?" instead of taking them captive, like I should. Then comes the complaining and grumbling and effects thereof.
So, in this trying time, at the beginning of a fresh new year, my one goal is to let my life be an example of grace; grace for everyone I encounter, and grace for myself.
The classic definition of grace is: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification (the unmerited favor of God). But grace also means: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency; and the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.
And being kind and considerate and thoughtful is a hard thing to do when someone is not being nice. But that is what true, godly grace is--giving someone what they don't deserve. We are being like Jesus when we do that.
So showing grace by loving, caring for, and blessing those who don't deserve it -- including ourselves! -- is a great way to start the new year.
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word," (2 Thessalonians 2:16, NASB).