Last night, several friends once again joined us at our home. We’ve been meeting together with different friends on Saturday evenings to share a meal and to encourage one another and build one another up toward maturity in Christ. (If you are interested, here are a few posts that describe some of our other Saturday evening get-togethers: “Fellowship of Faith…“, “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night…“, “Another Saturday Night…“, “Saturday Night’s Alright for … Friends“, and “Saturday Night…“)
After eating and several very good conversations between small groups and individuals, we sang a few songs that some of the children suggested: “In Christ Alone” was first. Then, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we sang a few songs in Spanish. Then, a four year old led us in singing the chorus of “ABC” by the Jackson Five. That was a great moment!
Renata from “Nurturing Notes” asked the group a question she had asked on her blog: “How do you define ‘a good mother’?” I’ve always appreciated Renata’s honesty and openness as she shares her struggles as a mother of three young children. I gave my answer to her question: any person’s goodness is directly related to how they reflect God (see a more extensive answer in this comment on her blog). Leah, from “Our Payneful Memories“, shared some things that she learned while visiting Walt Disney World: some things about herself, and some things about other parents.
Another brother shared a teaching from Hebrews. I really appreciated this teaching. I could tell that he was teaching something that God was teaching him. He didn’t have all the answers, but he was asking questions, and God was answering him. For the most part, the teaching dealt with obedience. This turned out to be the theme for the remainder of the evening as we all talked about obedience from many different perspectives.
Toward the end of the evening, after some people had left (we don’t have an ending time), some of us continued talking… this time, we talked about grace. Specifically, do we truly understand grace? I know, for me, I often act externally in ways that are contrary to the way I feel internally. Sometimes I “fake” Christ-likeness in order to make other people think I am more mature that I really am. All the while, I know that this is not what I am truly like on the inside. Yes, I am maturing, but perhaps not as much as my “behavior” suggests. Am I the only one that does this? Well, according to my friends, I am not. Why do we do this? Perhaps we are afraid that others will not accept us as we really are, because we know that we would not accept someone who acted that way. Thus, we do not understand grace. Grace says that God accepts us as we are – and, he knows the truth, not the “fake behavior” that we show to other people. No, God does not leave us as we are, but He does meet us there. So, I need to understand grace more. I need to understand both the grace that God shows me, and the grace that I should show to others.