I was asked about the title of my blog, "Isn't grace a gift of God?" Of course it is. But it's also a gift that we can give one another, and I think it's one that many of us are desperate for.
To tell the truth, I chose that name as a bit of a challenge for myself. I confess here that far too often I've used my ability with words to do harm. Put another way, I've withheld grace when I should have given it. And it's recently occurred to me that, if indeed I have a gift for communication, then the gift is from God, and it's rather spiteful of me to use it in any ungodly way.
Have you read Thomas a Kempis's THE IMITATION OF CHRIST? I've only read parts of it, but this stood out to me: "If it is permitted and advisable to speak, then speak of those things that nourish the spiritual life. Negligence about our spiritual progress and yielding to bad habits are the reasons for our keeping so little control over our tongues. Godly conversation about spiritual matters very much helps spiritual advancement, especially when persons of like mind and heart are united in God" (Helpful Counsels for the Spiritual Life, Chapter 10).
Ouch! I have had so much practice in withholding grace that I've become not only good at it but quite comfortable with it.
Time for a change, isn't it?