Looking Good or Showing Grace?

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Something was wrong. A peer had just refused to talk to me about his problems because I was "too perfect" and wouldn't be able to relate to him.

I couldn't respond to that.

Looking back, I think the problem was that I spent too much time trying to act "like a Christian." I should have been trying to act like Christ and also consistently share about my insatiable need for His grace. See, I had taken the verse admonishing me to set an example as a call to look good. And in so doing, I had made it about me instead of Jesus. I'm not the only one. I found Emily Freeman's post "one thing your daughter doesn't need you to say" to be an uplifting exhortation (that applies to sons as well <smile>).

It's not that we shouldn't set an example. It's that the example people need to see is Christ at work in us. They need to see Him. When we put on a mask and pretend to have it all together--almost as if we no longer need a Savior now that we have been saved--we can cover up the grace He is pouring into our lives. I did. And I regret it.


Asking for forgiveness is really hard for me to do. I don't think I really sought forgiveness from someone I had wronged until I was in high school. But that's just one painful example of how to clearly see I need grace.

I fail. I don't always act like Christ. But by His grace, He is forming into His image. And His mercies are new for me every day. I would like to encourage you to forego the pretense of looking good. Strive to be like Christ, and let others see His grace at work in you when you--like me--fail to do so.

What things do you do to show your children--and others--Christ at work in you?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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