Sunday, September 13, 2009

EGR

Have you heard of the term EGR? It's a term I first heard within the realms of Christian lingo referring to another brother or sister in Christ who may be a bit hard to handle or difficult to get along with. EGR means Extra Grace Required. And I have to plead guilty...I've used this term a time or two.

I'll be the first to admit, I am not the best at dealing with people one may describe as 'EGR.' When it comes to children, I have all the patience in the world. But for those adults that require some extra grace, I seem to lack the extra grace needed. Instead, my first inclination is to avoid those who have hurt or offended me.

Yes, I've prayed about it. I've asked God to help me deal with the people in my life that may be a little harder to tolerate and that require me to express a little extra grace. But I never seem to get the answer from God I was looking for...that extra grace I thought I needed.

Then as I was spending some time in God's Word today, I felt as if God gave me rude awakening. There’s something fundamentally wrong with this picture, with the term extra grace required and with my way of thinking. As I was reading Ephesians 4:25-32, I was especially struck by verse 32, which instructs us to be “kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another…”

Am I really being kind, tender-hearted and forgiving if I can think of someone else as an EGR? It implies that I think I need less grace than they do, which just isn’t true. I can be just as difficult to get along with as anyone. I think at times, we can all require a little extra grace.

So instead of God giving me the extra grace I thought i needed to extend to others, He is showing me that I need to remember the grace He extends to me everyday!

That’s what I see in this passage from Ephesians. On our own, we’re all ornery people, prickly and fussy and self-centered and stubborn. And the only way we can make it in this life together is to understand how much we’ve been forgiven. If we really understand the depth of forgiveness we’ve received from God, we become humble.

If I can see myself alongside my 'EGR' sister, but from God’s point of view, well, then, I have no basis for putting myself above her. I have to forgive whatever it is about her that sets me off, whatever it is that has hurt me, 'even as God in Christ has forgiven me.'

After all, where would I be if God Himself had looked down on me, in all His perfection and in all my imperfections, and had chosen to just avoid me because I required a little too much grace. Where would I be if He hadn't cared enough for me to forgive me for all the wrongs I have done, and to extend grace and compassion to a sinner like myself. Where would I be.

As that infamous Casting Crowns song says, "Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt." I'm no better than anyone else, and require no less grace than the next person. We all need forgiveness. We all need some grace.

I can't say I've achieved the ability to see others from God's point of view, but I can say that this will be my prayer and my desire. I am making it my goal to cover those 'EGR' people in my life with prayer, asking God to show me ways to be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving.

5 comments:

Gma said...

Well said, Angie.
Maggie S.

TanyaLea said...

Wow, Angie! ~
This was a GREAT post!! I can think of a few people in my immediate family today alone, that probably needed extra grace where I was concerned... as I've been a bit moody, stubborn and emotional for some reason today. So I think I really needed to read this! You are so right in all that you said. I guess it is probably quite arrogant for us to take on that EGR mentality, and I will do my best to ALWAYS remember this post! It's SO good...it should be in a devotional!!

Have a blessed week and thanks again for this post! <><

Hugs,
Tanya

Tara Anderson said...

Exactly what I needed to hear! Andrew and I were talking about my "EGR" person tonight! Thanks for helping me look on her in a new light!

Firefly Photo Jewelry said...

It's so funny I was thinking just today how there is one person in particular {that I may have mentioned to you in the past ;)} who I have such a hard time dealing with. I have a post sooo simular to this one rolling around in my head BUT she reads my blog so I have to be careful. There was something Beth Moore wrote in the John study how if not for God's Grace for us, we would BE that person we struggle with. I remind myself of that often. Without knowing God that was I do, I could be the same way.
I'm gonna bookmark this post of yours, chances are I'll be needing to reread it again :)

Valerie and Jeff said...

Thanks for this post. I have one of those EGR people ... (my MIL) and now that I look at it from a new angle I am putting myself ABOVE this person when I refer to her in my mind in that way. Not good for anyone is it. Thanks for sharing this thought and helping us all to see things a little more like Christ would REALLY want us to! None of us wants to be the EGR person ... and sometimes when we least expect it we just might be! How humbling is that.