Wow. So, I am having to remind myself of what grace is today ...it's undeserved favor to and from us to others. Grace to me, is when I have been given something (salvation) and daily receive blessings in abundance that I certainly do not deserve or have not earned.
Grace to others is the same. Grace to others is when I offer something, like kindness or gentleness that is not earned or deserved. Perhaps because it is not asked for, or would even be well received. Perhaps that in giving it you are not given any 'credit' for the gift, or maybe that your role in the giving is not appreciated. Perhaps it will be misunderstood, or misinterpreted,
Grace to others means to extend a hand of favor, or even simply not act out what your first reaction would be based on hurt pride, anger or frustration. Grace to others is a decision that must be made, to put to death that fire that rises up when one is offended, frustrated or feels they have been unfairly treated. It means to realize that surely there are times when one 'deserves' a harsh word, a hurtful response or an unkind reaction ...but that we have the power in us to chose something that is not deserved.
It means extending the favor of a kind word in return or a gentle response to those who may not appreciate it, who may not desire it even.
Grace requires humility on our own part. It's part of the dying to those natural reactions. Its how you can offer grace without being haughty or self-righteous about it.
Humility allows for understanding why a person says the hurtful words, why they respond in a hateful way, or why they react they way they do that offends us. It paves the way for compassion, love and forgiveness.
Its not easy. It takes every single gift of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes requires that you write a blog post about grace so that you can talk it out and be reminded of how to love people they way we ought to be loved :)