Joy Williams is a writer and speaker.
For over fifteen years, she’s taught small group bible studies
and spoken at women’s retreats and conferences.
She is the author of Friendship MAPS and her passion
is sharing life-changing truths about the grace of God in Christ.
On her weekly blog (on joyAwilliams.com) she encourages sincere or sidetracked truth seekers
with “hope for the heart and joy to the soul.”
Joy is also an inspiring regular contributor (LifeWriter) here at LifeLetter Café
and is today’s featured contributor to “Find It Only Here On Friday”.
Her first Café exclusive “Where Is GRACE In The Race Debate?” can be found below . .
BUT FIRST . . the Café thought you just might want to know
how an Encouragement Leader like Joy Williams has been encouraged
in her own faith recently.
In her own words…
Many factors impact my walk with Christ. But quiet times stand alone.
I can be scattered. The busyness of my schedule and life’s demands can rob me of my focus.
However, I’m currently reading through the gospels. Each passage reminds me Christ spoke to disorder.
Whether it was in a person’s priorities or personal affliction,
the words of Jesus provided the necessary pivot.
I constantly need Him to do that for me.
Today’s Find It Only Here On Friday
“Where Is GRACE In The Race Debate?”
by Joy Williams
When you think of people of a different race …
is your sensitivity being stretched over someone else’s plight? Our nation’s track record on race relations sets an uneasy atmosphere. We’ve seen generational tension push through recent headlines to announce more conflict and casualties. As a result, hurt, hate and fear continue to have their say.
But my truth seeking heart can’t help but wonder: Where is grace in the race debate?
My faith in Christ tells me God’s grace is everywhere offering His redemption to any believing heart. But even with grace being said around dinner tables from coast to coast, its sound is often muffled when it comes to issues of race.
As I recently participated in a joint bible study between my predominantly African American Church and a mostly Caucasian congregation, I saw grace in action. In a small group setting, we each had to choose between being guarded in our approach and being committed to what God intended.
I saw grace go into the messiest parts of our minds and sort through our misconceptions about one another. But as I see the effects of racial tension, I’ve wanted grace to move the needle on the fairness meter. However, by definition grace isn’t fair at all. It is God’s gift to sinners at the cost of His sinless Son’s life.1
We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s intentions. 2 However, some feel the scales of our nation’s justice system favor those who are White. While others feel race cards are played in an ongoing game of avoiding those same scales, if you are Black. Tragically, malicious minds mangle the notion of justice as they attack people based on the color of their skin or if they carry a badge.
Now tears fall into pools of grief created by those who’ve lost loved ones and by those who love our country. While evil wants to form the next horrific hash tag, grace offers healing and forgiveness for each one. And yet, it is impossible to change the narrative of “us and them”, until we have a change of heart.3
Thankfully, grace bridges the racial divide …
It was strong enough to stretch across the chasm between a holy God and humanity’s sin. Surely it can handle the depravity of our racially challenged hearts. My steps upon that bridge require me to be honest about my experiences while being open to God’s call. What do your steps look like?
No matter how far we’ve sunk in our thinking or treatment of others, grace always takes us to the foot of the Cross. It is where we find forgiveness and a new mind set. We may naturally drift from the awkwardness of this issue; or naturally think one race is mistreated and the other is at fault. However, grace tells us it’s time to think redemptively because we all need Christ. It is the great equalizer in the court of our collective struggle.
Grace is not telling us to look the other way; it leads us to a better way. 4
It is the only way prejudice, finger pointing and political posturing, can turn into repenting, forgiving and uniting. We may not understand why God has allowed some things to happen, but we can know what He wants to happen within us – to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. 5
The complexity of race relations tells us there is no overnight remedy. But grace assures us there are God possibilities. It offers us wisdom and strength to walk through walls of uncertainty and mistrust. In the race debate, grace doesn’t argue about what’s right or wrong; truth does that. Instead, grace always offers us what we don’t deserve – another chance.
“We believe that we are all saved the same way,
by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
– Acts 15:11 –
- 2 Corinthians 5:21
- Romans 3:23
- 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
- Hebrews 10:19-23
- Matthew 22:36-40
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