Today, we’re talking about the word “Grace” which is frequently used to describe pageant women as they glide across the stage or move like a ballet dancer. “She’s so graceful.”
But, “grace” has a much more powerful meaning.
Socially, when someone ‘gives someone grace’ they essentially are looking past their flaws. If a public speaker got up to deliver a keynote and they had a cold that distorted their voice they may say, I’m a little sick today, so I appreciate your grace.” Meaning “don’t judge me”
Grace is giving someone something wonderful that they do not deserve.
What does this have to do with pageantry? A TON!
If you can cultivate grace and learn to express it on stage and in your interview, you’ll be seen as love, truth, and hope. And if you are the only contestant oozing love, truth, and hope – who can stop you. Am I right or am I right?
Where did Grace come from?
The Old Testament (which is basically before Jesus), God was seen as judgmental – like if you did something wrong, you were condemned. If you’ve ever seen The Bible series, you can relate to the terror of the day. It’s so barbarian.
You may remember the story of Moses who first leads his people out of Egypt after a bunch of plagues, then goes up to the top of a mountain and receives The 10 Commandments struck on stone by God. That was considered “the law” so people obeyed these rules and if you didn’t you were sinning.
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”
Of course, people were always sinning because we’re not perfect, as a symbol of repentance from your sins, every week, you were to bring a ‘perfect’ lamb to the temple as a sacrifice. You’d pass over your lamb or goat or whatever you had and the priest would inspect the lamb to make sure it didn’t have any blemishes, like dark spots or scars or other weird things that animals could have. As long as the lamb was spotless, they would accept it. They killed it and you were redeemed from your sins.
Notice, they never asked what your sins were. Only you and God knew that. The priest didn’t care. They didn’t inspect you, they only inspected the lamb.
Many years later this young girl, Mary was engaged to this guy Joseph. The bible says Mary was a virgin, yet she became pregnant, cuz God’s amazing, and then she was rejected by the town because she wasn’t married, yet she was pregnant.
Then they left the town, and on their journey Mary was in labor.
They stopped at an Inn in Bethlehem, but it was full – Inns were probably more like bed and breakfasts than the Hilton, so the Inn Keeper offered them shelter in his barn. Jesus was born in there!
Read more in Matthew chapter 1
God sent Jesus with a new message – one of love, truth, hope and grace. During Jesus’s young life – he only lived into his 30’s – people still would slaughter lambs. But, you and I know how this story ends. Jesus because the ultimate perfect lamb. His soul had no blemishes, and yet he took on the sins of the world.
He did that by dying for you and me. Jesus was talking about being the Son of God, and the powerful people of the time were worried that if his following grew, they’d take over the government – I’m obviously simplifying this a bit – so they arrested him for “blasphemy” – apparently that was a crime back then. Then, they put him through hideous pain and ridicule. I think this was because they wanted to make an example of him, so people didn’t keep spreading Jesus’s message. (But, our God is bigger than people’s intimidation so it didn’t work anyway.) Jesus was crucified, which means killed, hanging from a cross next to 2 actual criminals. The bible says there was one moment when he screamed “Father, why have you forsaken me?!” Which means “Dad, why did you leave?!” This was the one moment that all the sin of the world came onto Jesus and God can’t be where sin is so, they were separated.
Because of this hideous and beautifully loving moment, you and I get to come every day to God with our perfect lamb, Jesus, and God inspect the lamb and then accepts him so you don’t have to suffer. You are given both mercy – you don’t have to be crucified – and grace – you get to go to Heaven! No matter what you do! Jesus is the ultimate present you get to unwrap every day – his Grace covers every blemish you have.
How can you be Graceful – full of Grace?
You have to actually unwrap the present. Someone can hand you a gorgeous turquoise box wrapped with white ribbon, but if you don’t open it, you’ll never wear the Tiffany’s bracelet. Even if you do open it, you could shove the bracelet in a drawer and it’ll do you no good unless you wear it.
The same is true of Jesus’s grace. You have to unwrap it by asking him to give it to you, use it once to get you started and then use it every day.
The guild and shame that comes with sins I’ve committed is instantly washed away when I talk to God about removing my sins. He actually makes me feel brand new again!
The way you do it is through conversation with God – called prayer – it’s basically just talking to God like you would a friend. I’ll put a specific prayer on the show notes that you can pray to give you the framework, but how you talk to God can be totally unique to you.
So, how do you give grace?
The same way you give any present. If you have a special present and you never tell anyone about it, like you don’t put a tag with their name on it, you don’t hand it to them, or you never mention you have a gift in your car for them….they don’t know about it! You have to talk about it! Giving someone grace feels like a warm hug. It’s non-judgemental, non-confrontational, it’s just an opportunity for someone to feel loved even when they don’t deserve it. Giving freely of love, truth, and hope – speak life rather than gossip, be loving rather than condemning, help instead of hurt.
This holiday season, give grace to people – even when they don’t deserve it. That level of compassion, confidence, and ease is what people see from the audience as love, truth, and hope – and they describe it as graceful.
And that, ladies is how you win a pageant.
For more great pageant training, enroll in the Free Pageant Course