Pro-Grace

I am Texan.  Texas makes the news a lot.  Mostly because Texas is fabulous.  Ask anyone who’s from here.  Or has ever lived here.  We’re never shy to claim the state as our own or give you all the reasons we think we could be a nation of our own.

In recent months, Texas has made the news again by passing some of the strongest pro-life legislation in the country. Legislation that I fully support. {If you’re opposed to the legislation, this is where I ask you to hang on and read a little further.}  I believe in the sanctity of life.  I believe life begins at conception.  I believe a life that is just minutes old following conception deserves all of the rights of a life that has lived 100 years out of the womb.

But you’ll never see me holding a protest sign or posting images of the unborn on Facebook. {If you’re sign-holding, image-posting Pro-Lifer, this is where I ask you to hang on.}

Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve known a handful of women who have made the difficult decision to have an abortion.  The key word there is difficult.  I’ve never known a woman to take the decision lightly.  I’ve heard stories of women who made the decision and have great regrets years later.  And I’ve heard stories of women who still feel it was the best decision for them at the time.

I also know many women who have had the painful experience of a miscarriage.  Many of whom have seen the tiny body of their child that never knew the fullness of life.  I, in fact, am one of those women.

So here’s why you’ll never see me on the picket line.  As much as I believe in life at conception, I believe more in an amazing grace that draws more in than protest lines ever could.  I believe in a loving Father, who not only loves the unborn, but loves those who have made the difficult decision to have an abortion.  I believe that the same grace that is there for a mother who has experienced a miscarriage is there for a woman who grieves an abortion.

I believe there’s a place for the legislation.  I believe there’s a greater place for grace.

I believe ripping open the wounds of a woman who carries the pain and regret of an abortion is completely contrary to what our Father would do.  I believe if we, as Christ followers, reached out in LOVE to those who are struggling with a decision about an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, God could be free to move…because we’d be out of the way.  I believe if we, as Christ followers, reached out in grace (with no opinion, no judgement) to those who have chosen abortion, God could be free to move…because we’d be out of the way.

I believe that most passionate advocates on both sides of the belief system believe they are right.  And I don’t believe judgement or condemnation will ever persuade anyone to change sides.  I do believe that if Christ followers will speak  and act in love and grace, that God is bigger than a social issue and can accomplish what He wants to accomplish.

I believe that all to often we forget that as Christ-followers it’s not our job to change people.  It’s our job to love people.  To show them Jesus.  To reflect Jesus in a true and real way.  And then let God accomplish change.

I believe in life.  I believe in grace more.

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5 Replies to “Pro-Grace”

  1. This is becoming a popular sentiment in Christian circles. There are a good number of articles/posts like this that basically take the same stance of saying that Christians should not be vocal about their beliefs on social issues. I think that the thought process here is that it isn’t showing God’s grace to those that are struggling with these issues. I’m not sure I can get behind you on this thought process. In the case of abortion discussed in your article, and in the case of the gay community that is brought up in your comments – am I right to understand that those Christians and organizations that believe that marriage was created by God and was designed to be between a man and a woman, and/or Christians and organizations that feel that abortion is a huge tragedy that completely breaks Gods heart – that you believe that these people should not be publicly stating these beliefs, rather they should just pray in the privacy of their own homes, lest they offend people that are making immoral/sinful decisions with their lives (and at the expense of many around them)? I don’t know. If we follow that thought through, then organizations that exist to promote pro-family and pro-life values should just close up shop because they are offensive and hurtful and “not showing God’s grace”? It just all doesn’t sit right with me. I think that God convicts us all differently, Beth, and if you feel that it would be wrong for you to hold signs, protest, or share things on your Facebook, then by all means, follow the Lord’s leading there. However, I believe that there are a ton of people doing a lot of good for these social issues causes and that they absolutely should be out there making sure that the public is educated on the truth behind the Truth.

    I think that sharing the truth about these issues may be unpopular and may be construed as ‘mean’ or ‘unloving’ or be crazily spinned as not showing God’s grace – and yet, I actually firmly believe that it is more loving to actually reach out with the truth than to quietly, passively “get out of the way”. I’d love you to tell me what it is that “getting out of the way” looks like in your world. Let’s say an acquaintance of yours approaches you about wanting an abortion – are you thinking that your best move is to simply listen to her tale of woe with a sympathetic ear and to let her know that you understand what she is going through? You do not think that the Lord might be counting on you to share with her the love that He holds for her and for her unborn child? You somehow see that as unloving? You wouldn’t try to assure her that even though things seem hopeless right now, you truly believe that the Lord knows best – all the time? That she can absolutely count on the fact that the Lord will make a way for her and her circumstances and that all she needs to do is to put her faith and trust in the Lord and do the right thing?

    You are a wonderful Christian woman Beth, and I’m not here to cause trouble with or for you. I simply respectfully disagree with your idea of what grace looks like, I guess.

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    1. I’m glad you commented because that’s not what I was trying to convey at all. I stated in my post that I’m pro-life. And I don’t think I said that Christ followers shouldn’t stand firm on the Bible. God’s word is His word. Period.

      Where I think *some* miss the mark is that the Truth isn’t spoken in love. It’s spoken in judgement and condemnation, neither of which are ours to pass. Again, some, not all.

      “Getting out of the way” for me means speaking the truth in love and then getting out of God’s way so that He can handle the rest. Not sit by and say nothing, but speak God’s truth, love the person, listen to the person, lovingly continually to speak the truth. But letting God do what only He can. I have the power to influence someone’s decision or heart, but only God has the power to change it.

      I think we probably both see grace very similarly, but the message of my heart wasn’t totally understood when you read this.

      Thank you for asking the questions. And thanks for giving me the chance to clear things up!

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      1. Oh, sweet friend, I’m sorry for misunderstanding the message of your heart. The message that I’m hearing (and that maybe you weren’t saying) is definitely something that I’m hearing from numerous sources and I may just be hyper-sensitive to the message as it is something I am struggling with figuring out in my own life/walk.

        I desire for people to clearly see Christ in me. I do not want my testimony tainted by my passion for specific social issues. Yet, is He not the One that has ignited the passion I feel for these very issues? I wrestle with this. I think God is trying to teach me something and I just haven’t gotten it yet. 😉

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  2. Beth, this is so beautiful. I think you are an awesome woman of God. I could not have put this in words like you did so thank you for blessing me and all the others who read your blog. I feel this same was about gay people ….in the last 2 paragraphs. God’s love it what is important, NOT condemnation.

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    1. Thank you very much. And I agree with this about how Christ followers respond to the gay community. God’s love is the message. Thank you again!

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