While we decorated for a special event at church, the woman in charge griped about my inexperience. After she walked away, another woman approached me. “Don’t worry about her. She’s what we call an E.G.R.—Extra Grace Required.”
I laughed. Soon I started using that label every time I had a conflict with someone. Years later, I sat in that same church sanctuary listening to that E.G.R.’s obituary. The pastor shared how the woman had served God behind the scenes and given generously to others. I asked God to forgive me for judging and gossiping about her and anyone else I’d labeled as an E.G.R. in the past. After all, I needed extra grace as much as any other believer in Jesus.
In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul states that all believers were “by nature deserving of wrath” (v. 3). But God gave us the gift of salvation, a gift which we did nothing to deserve, a gift we’d never be able to earn “so that no one can boast” (v. 9). No one.
As we submit to God moment by moment during this lifelong journey, the Holy Spirit will work to change our character so we can reflect the character of Christ. Every believer requires extra grace. But we can be grateful that God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).