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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  1. charity

    Excellent post.
    While my religious views differ slightly from yours, I appreciate the comments and thoughts you provided here.
    How very insightful.
    Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Carol Stoltzfus

    Wow, this is spot on. This really gets me right on my toes! Thanks! :)

  3. Thanks, Charity and Carol. May we all walk in more humility and grace!


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