Yesterday, a friend of mine gave me a very kind comment. She said, “You are a gracious woman.” I appreciated the affirmation and thanked her. Is this true? Am I a gracious woman?
When I got up this morning I started thinking about what it means to be gracious. I reviewed the story of Joseph written in the book of Genesis. What an example of graciousness! He suffered abuse and he was falsely accused. Yet, he was neither revengeful nor bitter. Where did he find the strength to overcome these natural tendencies? He experienced the grace and goodness of God.
God blessed him with a wife and two sons. He named them in honor of God and as a reminder of God’s goodness to him. This is how the story is recorded in the book of Genesis:
“Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, saying, “Certainly God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” He named the second child Ephraim, saying, “Certainly God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” (Genesis 41:50-52 NET)
God has been as gracious to me as he was to Joseph. He’s given me a compassionate and gracious husband, a precious family, and many dear friends. More than that, he’s given me the companionship and of the Holy Spirit, the Friend whom Jesus said he would send to all of his followers.
Because of his gracious blessings, I am not bitter and angry. I am not focused on inner pain. I am free from shame. I have self-worth. I can look beyond myself and reach out to others.
Does this mean I am a gracious woman? Sometimes, I am. Sometimes, I am not. God, alone, is gracious 100 percent of the time. My desire is to continue growing in grace, each day to become more and more like Jesus. In the words of this song by BJ Thomas, I want to be more and more like Jesus.