The Family: God's Litmus Test of Applied Grace

If you want to know the depth of one's character, observe how they treat children and the elderly. Folks on the extreme ends of life's timeline usually have enormous needs and limited capabilities. These built-ins to their age bracket often place their daily success and ongoing dignity at the mercy of the people around them. Character is an outwardly focused nobility that is consistently offered -- often at high personal cost -- to people who can't necessarily return the favor. It doesn't really matter, therefore, what we say we are as a person.

When it comes to true character, the kindness, patience, and honor we show to children and the elderly tends to tell the more accurate story. And we could add to our character-test list widows and orphans (James 1:27), as well as the "least of these" type of people Jesus listed in Matthew 25:31-46.

God's Grace As Your Family's Default Mode

Which brings us to the subject at hand -- God's grace. It's easy to give theoretical assent to the reality of God's grace, but the ultimate litmus test as to whether or not we've truly allowed his grace to become our default mode is how we treat the people in our family. Home has a best-of-times-and-worst-of-times nature about it. As such, family can either be a watershed opportunity for us to move from walking in the flesh to living in the power of God's Spirit, or it can be our Waterloo.

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]