I’ve written about this before, but this is a tweaked version. If you are a Christian, but you are aware of a number of these eight signs in your life, you may be in urgent need of a grace refresher course.
- You are not very good at extending forgiveness to people who need it. Forgiveness can be a very difficult thing, but wherever you see a basic stubbornness and resistance to forgive, it’s a sign that we have not quite grasped the grace of God as we should.
- You always need to be right and seen to be right. I was in a gift shop yesterday and I saw a plaque that said ‘When I married Mr Right, I didn’t realise his first name was always.’ That is a contradiction of grace.
- And the other side of that is that you find it hard to admit that you have been wrong on something. Even when you have. ‘I’m sorry if you were offended by what I said’ is an inadequate substitute for ‘Please forgive me. I was wrong in the way I spoke to you.’
- And somewhere connected to those two, is the need to compare yourself with others. If the comparison is favourable, it results in pride; if it is unfavourable, it leads to jealousy and resentment..
- Which means that another sign is when there more resentment, (and more anger and more anxiety) in your life than there should be.
- You feel the need to be everybody’s traffic warden. You are always in fault detection mode. Do you know that there is a website called ‘nitpickers.com’? It allows people to write about mistakes in movies and TV programmes. Some of us are spiritual nitpickers and fault-finders and it is sign that we have not fully comprehended grace.
- Your spiritual life is more about rule-keeping than a warm relationship with God. It’s about doing your duty, about ticking boxes and checking lists.
- Perhaps you are not even sure he really loves you. An old Puritan writer put it like this:
The greatest unkindness you can do to the Father is not to believe that he loves you.