Tuesday, October 20, 2015

But for the grace of God go I

I am continuing a critique of a series of statements dubbed Stupid phrases for people to say to someone in crisis.  This is the original article

But for the grace of God go I.

My sister, Judy, encouraged me to study grace.  God's grace is simple yet complicated.  I suspect that I'm the one complicating it.  My counselor wondered why it was that I wasn't a drug addict, alcoholic, or promiscuous.  My answer, But for the grace of God go I.  I used this statement referring to myself.  I chose God's grace or I would probably have done all three or committed suicide.  Most likely the last.  I think the error with this statement is applying it to someone else.  I believe that this statement works only as a self-realization that I would be in a bigger mess if I hadn't turned to God.  Telling someone else this statement burdens them with guilt, inadequacy, bewilderment, and many other negative feelings for there is just a hint of 'I'm better than you that you have these problems and I don't.'  Sadly, rather than comforting the person in crisis, there is another layer added of doubting themselves, questioning God, and deepening distress.  I believe when comforting someone else I need to use the platinum rule, "Do unto others as they would like to be done unto them."  May I have the grace and compassion to seek to comfort another.  I need to leave their self realization to themselves.  Sit with those in crisis. Ask how I can serve them.  Show them God's grace by my behavior rather than words that scrape against tender hearts.

God's Grace a personal struggle

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