Shaped by grace?

By Rick James

Grace is at the core of my faith. But is it at the core of the way I live? Does it really affect how I behave at work? I don’t think grace has even been used to describe my contribution or performance in any annual appraisal. And yet I believe we are called to be ‘stewards of grace’ (1 Pet 4:10) at work.

Grace is the distinctive feature of our faith. As Desmond Tutu wrote: ‘I preached my only sermon – that God loves us freely as an act of grace’. Grace is what sets Christianity apart from other religions. It is what should set Christian organisations apart from all others.

Yet grace does not fit easily with our current approaches to management. It’s counter-cultural, even scandalous. It’s often misunderstood and misused. Grace should not be an excuse for sweeping important stuff under the carpet. It is about dealing with openly and honestly and honestly with the human condition. Grace is radical and transforming.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if grace characterised our organisational cultures? Our leadership? The ways we relate to partners? Our theories of change? Our office culture?

It starts with you and me. This week think about:

  • How are you being shaped by grace at the moment?
  • What opportunities do you have to be a steward of radical grace?


  1. Thank you Rick.

    May I recommend “Leading With Love” by Karen and Chris Blakeley? (ISBN 9780367234287, published July 16, 2021 by Routledge).

    The book presents original research based on leaders who were nominated by their people for leading with love. It shows how they learned to lead with love for the benefit of themselves, their organisations, and their people. It shows that leading with love is something that is practised by leaders who are more emotionally, morally, and spiritually mature. Leading with love is a sign of psychological maturity, whilst leading with fear is a sign of hindered emotional and spiritual development. Based on this research, this book presents a simple framework to help leaders who wish to develop their psychological maturity and apply practices which will enable them to successfully lead with love.

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