Ungracious people suck the oxygen out of conversations and relationships. They steal something. To use a good friends language, we are sophisticated enough creatures to sense it. Ungracious people don't even have to say something and you know the grace has been sucked out of the room, out of your life. Judgement moves fast from one human into another, creeping into the pit of our stomachs building shame or fear, stealing freedom and peace.
No one is harder to love than the judgmental, entitled punk looking down on you. And because of that we usually don't. We don't have grace for the ungracious.
There are public internet Christian wars being fought right now on blogs. People line up taking sides in the comment sections and most everyone sides with the nicer, more gracious person of course. And grace is a fight that must be fought. Jesus fought it hard. It is our legacy, our message, our hope... the grace and mercy of a just God.
But the way Jesus fought it, was to give grace even to the ungracious. In Luke 15 the worst of sinners are pushing up to hear Jesus and behind them the religious are grumbling about it. So he tells the beautiful story of the prodigal son, a father celebrating the return of a rebellious sinful son. The story ends with his older son outside the banquet, ticked off about the grace of his father. He is self-righteous and proud and entitled. But the father pushes away from the table celebrating his grace to go out to the one stealing it and in love pleads with him to come back too. God moves toward those even stealing his grace.
And this is good news because we are all at times the ungracious punk too. Sometimes it is when we are being ungracious to the ungracious.