The other night I was having a conversation with my daughter and her friend. We were discussing different things in our businesses. Things like contracts, agreements and policies. Often times we are forced to develop a new policy or a written contract because of something negative. Sometimes it is a broken verbal agreement, or loss of payment. Maybe even a misunderstanding or unrealized expectation.
I was reflecting on my own music business. It took about two or three negative experiences with someone about 15 years ago for me to wise up and get a written list of expectations called a “music agreement”. Those negative experiences forced me to become direct with things like payment, no-shows and makeup lessons. Before the “agreement” I was operating under “complete grace” and verbal agreement only.
In talking with Greg this morning, we dug deeper and looked at God’s laws passed down to us. There was a time when God operated on “The Law” only. Laws were a standard meant to “set apart” and protect. God’s laws, such as the ten commandments written for the children of Israel, and many others found in Old Testament and New Testament – were written to warn us. They were written to show God’s expectations. But they were also written to show relationship. When Jesus came to be a sacrifice for any who would accept Him – the law became much more than just “Law”. It became a covenant agreement with grace.
With God’s grace in place for all of us “law breakers” – we now have a greater reason to keep the law and to obey what He tells us to do. To keep standards in our lives and live as we should. Those who continue to break God’s Laws, do not understand grace. Grace gives new freedom. Grace brings protection and reason for living.
I was thinking about this topic this morning. It has taken “law breakers”, those that would abuse my business in the past – for me to know how to protect myself in the future – but more than that – my “agreement” also protects those that live under it. When treated in the correct manner – contracts protect both parties. There is freedom in living under that kind of agreement. And although I’m sure I do not operate under that “grace” that God exercises with those who believe in Him – I understand at least a little bit, what it means.
I can either let other negative experiences bring me down and force me to show no grace to others – or I can learn from those negatives. In having very clear expectations and still operating under “grace” for any and all unique situations – will allow me to further cultivate relationship with others. I want to be known as being fair, honest and merciful. Being clear about my expectations up front. Showing protection for all those who would enter into an agreement with me. This is not always easy. But it is the best way to live.
Do you show grace to others? Even those who have wronged you? What is your standard? Are you clear in your business dealings with others?
Dear Lord help me to be a person of my word. When it is my mistake, let me not hesitate to apologize. When it is not my mistake, help me to show grace with others, being merciful as you have been to me. Help me to show kindness and integrity in all that I do, words I speak and the way that I live. Amen
- Old Covenant vs. the New Covenant (verse4psalm37.wordpress.com)
- The two covenants (dailymedit.wordpress.com)
- – God’s Enduring Mercy – (hiseternalword.wordpress.com)
- Church Covenant or Church Contract? (timmybrister.com)
- No Longer At Sin’s Beck And Call (christyrawls.com)
- on covenant making (thedaysman.com)