Humility, Grace, Acceptance

“There but for the grace of God, go I!”

I used to hear this often. It was a way of acknowledging that another’s misfortune could be mine. It was admitting that it could be my young teen daughter that is pregnant. It was accepting that I hadn’t been caught in a legal web for my offenses. The phrase was uttered not in condemnation but in humility.

Today, it’s more often “Look! How terrible he/she is!” “How could that have been allowed that to happen?” “I would NEVER. . .” We are quick to point fingers, condemn others by what we’ve heard, and deny understanding or grace of any kind.

If the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that truly good and kind people get caught up in addictions and sins. It’s not their intent to be swallowed up, but it happens. They lose their family, their home, their way of life. In short, everything is lost because of that first step on a slippery slope.

It’s not my job, my responsibility or my right to condemn others. (And I’m really good at it!) How many times have I broken the law by speeding and not paid the penalty? How many times have I slaughtered someone’s reputation with no consequences? How many times have I watched a lascivious scene on TV and not even blinked? How many times have I been “too good” to associate with one of those people?

My choices do have consequences. I don’t always “get caught”, but there’s always the next opportunity. So, maybe the next time you see that person fighting for sobriety or in recovery, don’t be so quick to turn away.

“There but for the grace of God, go I!”

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