Most of you did not know, but I am at Camp Kanakuk in Branson MO this week speaking. It is their family camp. I am teaching for five days on grace. I started Tuesday introducing the need for grace in our postmodern culture. I then defined grace from a biblical perspective. Yesterday we began what we will try to conclude today: “How do we give grace to others.” Oh, how hard this is. It is really hitting home for all of us. As I told the group of 25 families, I just don’t feel comfortable teaching this anymore. I am really good at receiving grace, but I have such a hard time giving it. I defined people who are “un-gracious” as those who spend their time criticising others, especially those who they are closest to. Ouch! God forgive me for teaching on a subject that I fail at so consistently.

My wife and I had an argument turned fight turned I-am-not-talking-to-you-anymore on the seven hour drive here. Come on Lord! Why now. I am teaching on grace. Do you want me to be ineffective? When I got here I went and introduced myself to all the families alone. I left my wife with the kids back at the cabin. I was bitter, angry, unforgiving, and unable to show that about which I was about to teach. That hurt and was setting me up for a potentially embarrassing situation. I tried to change my subject at the last minute, but I could not think of anything other than the history of the Bible, postmodernism, or the five points of Calvinism. Did not think that would go over too well here. So . . . grace it was. Where is the love Lord? What kind of sense of humor clinic are you putting on here? And why am I the main subject?

To make a long, long story short, we made-up before the day ended. We each showed each other grace. Thanks Lord. I will give you more later. Got to go teach on grace, mercy, and forgiveness.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    2 replies to "Grace At Kanakuk"

    • jshaffer

      That sounds tough. I think most of us have an easier time receiving grace than we do giving it. True, some of us may have an easier time showing grace than others do. But it still has to be learned (er, actually, practiced–we pretty much have to learn as we go!). For my part, I have learned more about grace in the six months I’ve been married than I’ve learned…well, anywhere. 🙂

    • bzentis

      What…you mean it doesn’t happen on a regular basis that you’ll be teaching on a subject…or correcting the behavior of your kids… when as the words are coming out of your mouth you realize the very same words could be the Lord talking to you? I hate when that happens!

      I guess it just shows that none of us is perfect but the Lord uses us anyway. That’s grace! Sometimes receiving grace is hard too.

      Thanks for your honest sharing, Michael. You teach us and give us hope that we are not alone in this.

      Brian

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