Amazing Grace- I am a wretch

I had a bit of a breakdown/pity party last night thinking about how long I've been praying about being loving, trying to be a more gracious person, and still failing miserably. I thought of times I've been snotty, mean, judgmental, difficult- some from years ago. I'm not sure if the meat of this breakdown came from God or from Satan (if it was conviction or accusation), but I know that God used it.

I've prayed to be more gracious, to be full of love, and also to be humbled. I am thankful for the humble perspective that I gained through realizing how much I have in common with Paul and with all people on this planet: "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." Romans 7:15. I was glad when this verse came into my head last night, because even in my tears, the temptation was there for it to still be all about Me. But I don't run across anything that is uncommon to man, and I can always overcome.

It is so easy to be proud and to have no real grasp of the concept of grace when I don't have what people would consider huge sins in my past- no drugs, promiscuity, murder, violence. But I am no better than anyone, and nothing that I do earns my salvation or God's love. Grace is unmerited favor. A free gift.

I've been reading a book about grace and it has been focusing on God's grace to us so that we can see how little we deserve and, in turn, be more gracious to others. Everything I read I understood in my head, "yeah, yeah. Exactly. I don't deserve it", but it wasn't really clicking. I am extremely grateful for the small kick in the pants that I received, and I hope that I won't need further, bigger wake up calls in this area!

2 Corinthians 9:15