It’s not called “practicing” for nothing. On some great future day, the liberating, life-affirming grace we each receive from Jesus will also be the grace we give as freely to those who wound us, irritate our peace, or call out for our love and care. Between the “now” and “then” there’s a lot of practicing to do—a daily repetition of kind words, forgiving acts, and chosen, holy silences. Like hours we spent as children with pianos, violins, or flutes, we learn the patterns of the Jesus life—not all at once, but with increasing Spirit-skill. On many days, we get the fingering all wrong: we point unrighteously at those who really need our grasp and our embrace. But just because the grace that saves us keeps on saving us from us, we build up skills in loving, holding, healing, helping. Great music—gracious music—is never perfect on day one. Keep practicing. And stay in grace. -Bill Knott
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