This is not what I ordered! I asked you to bring me a Caesar salad. How hard is that?
Overhearing this in a local restaurant yesterday seemed pretty much in character with the way many people seem to behave nowadays: entitled and unforgiving.
Sure, a garden salad is not the same as a Caesar salad. And yes, if it’s on the menu it is reasonable to expect that the kitchen should provide it to you. So the server or someone else made a mistake and the wrong salad landed on the table.
To err is human. We all, if we have any sense of objectivity, let alone measure of maturity, would agree that we all make mistakes - from which we typically would love to be released, let off the hook and forgiven. Yet when we feel wronged, even by a mundane garden salad, it seems socially acceptable now to stand on personal expectation and entitlement, and show neither mercy nor grace - or graciousness for that matter.
To err is human; to forgive, divine, wrote Alexander Pope in 1711. God still forgives us, but do we readily forgive others? Lately it just seems like the “grace door” swings only one way for people. The mercy and the breaks that they somehow want for themselves, they would not in turn grant others. This is like having your salad and eating it too.
So let’s try to remember that grace - this fundamental concept of our faith - is not just something we need to accept, but something we need to give just as freely. Instead of a one-way door to grace, make yours a revolving door: always grateful for God’s infinite grace, and always granting grace to others.