This post was written and published on January 1, 2016.
“Grace is absolutely beautiful when we receive this precious gift from God. Knowing that we are saved by grace is so comforting and refreshing. We wake up without fear of our past and knowing that through it all God’s grace is raining down upon us. But then we are faced with having to extend grace to someone else. Suddenly, the idea of grace loses its appeal and our sinful nature wants to jump up and hurt someone just as bad as they hurt us. You know an eye for an eye! I know for me that use to be my model. I wouldn’t even think twice about choosing to extend grace because grace was not an option. Grace was not going to make me feel better. Extending grace made me feel weak, but that is from the “World’s” perspective. In reality when we extend grace to someone else we are showing our true strength. It is not easy to forgive a spouse for hurting you and it is hard to reconcile with a friend who betrayed your trust. That is when we have to go before God and get into His Word to see how much grace He has given us. It is kind of hard to resist extending grace to someone else when our own rap sheet is a million times long. I know I am not the only one who was in desperate need of God’s grace. The same things that tick me off about others are some of the same things that I was guilty of myself. When we truly understand that we have been given grace for all of the things that we have done, then and only then can we extend God’s grace to someone else.
When I think back on 2015 I can see how God’s grace was given to me to enable me to pass it on to others. I was challenged and failed more times than I would like to admit on extending the grace of God, but I learned that God desired me to be obedient in every area of my life. The product of obedience in extending grace brought healing to me, deeper trust in God and joy in giving others what they did not deserve.
I know that it can be hard to basically “let someone off the hook”, but allow God to strengthen you in the process. You cannot rely on your own strength to extend grace, you will need God’s strength. Who do you need to extend grace to today?
Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”