Let's face it: We who are advocating for the lives of babies in the womb have a tough row to hoe. Those of us who have had abortions often times feel like we are going in two directions at the same time as we work the harvest; and by that I mean we want the Grace God offers sinners but we may not be so ready to extend it to others whose opinions differ from ours. (ouch Sylvia; that hurt) I find myself on platforms that often place God's gift of Grace in a "stingy bin" as if it is something we have the right to hand out whenever WE see fit to (seriously Sylvia, okay already!!). Honestly, I have been guilty of the same offense as I look back at old Facebook posts and the like. I had to do a hard check about a week ago as I was all set to condemn in my heart a politician who was reported as having had an extremely negative reaction to a 12 week old fetal model. You may have read the story. It was reported that a New Mexico state representative said that the model he was given was "disgusting" and threw it in the trash. Initially, when I read about his reaction I wasn't surprised: Those of us who want to keep up the illusion that a baby in the womb isn't a baby often react that way. But, what I hadn't considered or thought about was that he most likely was TRIGGERED, for whatever reason, to react the way he did. The author of the article I read quickly reminded me that she had the same reaction PRIOR to her abortion. That extreme reaction was akin to a self-protective mechanism used to justify her "choice." And that got me thinking: What if we, who have been on both sides of the argument, set a new example of how to lead and engage people with GRACE? After all, until our healing journey began we wouldn't have thought that WE were WORTHY of receiving it. We were triggered by all sorts of real and imaginary threats to our fragile state of mind right? But, what if we pivoted and chose NOT to jump on the "condemnation" bandwagon? What if we chose to begin to freely give what was freely given to us? How might that approach shift the atmosphere toward healing hearts? We know that changed hearts change opinions, laws and directions of nations. Grace is an 'action" word much like love and compassion and it actively stirs up good and not harm.
Let me share with you a model that was shared with me by Ms. Robin Grainger from Life Church here in Wesley Chapel, Florida. It is called the G.R.A.C.E. model of communication and may it be a shining example of how to activate the Grace of God in all things.
Much love, Sylvia
The G.R.A.C.E. Conversation. Compiled by Robin Grainger, Life Church, Life Group training 2019.
“Grace is your being on the side of, or “for” the other person as well as the relationship.” Dr. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Truth is having a heartfelt conversation about the problem at hand.
· Conversations are meant to produce growth and accountability
· Prompts by the Holy Spirit guide the words you use.
· Stay true to God’s character – How can God use this situation?
· Reflecting unconditional love, acceptance and forgiveness. Take emotions out of it.
· Timing is everything. Unless God tells you to move, don’t
· Respect them as a person; know feedback may hurt.
· Lead with grace…don’t assume they understand the issue.
· What does God’s word say about it?
· What is the current impact on those around them? Do people feel safe? Valued? Respected by their actions?
· What does “healthy” look like? What has God called them to do differently?
· How can you help them recognize signs of hurting themselves or others?
Caring and Compassionate
· It’s not about you…take your emotion out of it. Shooting from the hip comes off as judgmental because your mind is already made up.
· Hard conversations may not have been healthy in the past. Regardless of the outcome, the person will always be loved.
· How would you react to the same conversation? What seems to be their fears? Triggers?
· You don’t own the outcome…that’s between them and God. It’s completely their choice how they take the feedback.
· Was God’s love reflective in what was said?