“Grace and peace.”
This is how Paul greets the early churches in his letters from prison. These are the words Paul uses first and foremost to encourage fellow Christians.
Lately I need more grace and peace.
I need more grace and peace for myself.
I need to feel God’s good grace at the end of the day when I was mean or grumpy or fell into temptation. I need peace when I feel Satan’s lies haunting me and peace when I give in.
I need more grace and peace for others.
I need to give grace when others wrong me, when they hurt me and when they lie. I need to spread peace when I innately want to return hurt with hurt, I need to establish peace among friends, family, coworkers and even strangers.
It’s hard in the middle of a long work day when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed and clients are mean and faxes aren’t going through.
It’s hard on the weekend when I go to one event after the next and leave little me-time to recover some lost social energy.
It’s hard when I fight with someone I love over something that’s simply not worth it, when the tension is thick and the voices rise.
It’s easy to be snooty and a little rude and to shrug off the slightly bothersome guy at work. It’s easy to cut someone off on the highway when traffic is awful. It’s easy to point fingers when someone is at fault.
But grace and peace, first and foremost.
Grace and peace to my brothers and sisters in Christ — to those who know and love the Lord deeply and fully and radically. Grace and peace to my friends and loved ones and strangers who do not walk with Him, but deserve just as much love and respect as anyone else.
Grace and peace to myself, grace and peace to others. First and foremost. Grace and peace.