Did you experience grace today? I’m sure most of you did, even if you didn’t recognize it as grace. Christine Hoover cited “receiving an e-mail that said, thank you for giving me grace.” She noted hearing that phrase “a thousand times but, for some reason, this particular time stuck with me for several days.”
Christine continued by saying she hadn’t done anything significant to receive a thank you of grace. As I shared previously, what does it mean to give grace to another. Recalling Chuck Swindoll’s words “to show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve and can never earn it”, so do any of us deserve grace? Have we been so special, so wonderful or outstanding that we deserve a kindness from others? Probably not!
Grace isn’t a free pass that allows us to throw off all restraint under the guise of Christ. Grace, the unmerited favor of God poured out on us by our faith in Christ, is a compelling change agent that, when received, teaches us how to live. Tim Keller says, “The gospel devours the very motivation you have for sin. It completely saps your very need and reason to live any way you want. Anyone who insists the gospel encourages us to sin has simply not understood it yet, nor begun to feel it’s power.”
When I went to the doctor yesterday for my post-op appointment, I mentioned to the nurse that I was so hopeful I could drive sooner than three weeks. She smiled and said, “did you think you were special?” That was a “gotcha” moment…no I know I’m not special, but I was hopeful.
I’ve done nothing special to have my friend from church transport me to the hospital and return me home which consumed her entire day. I’m not special that she again picked me up and took me to the doctor for my follow up appointment. Her grace for me was a gift.
Grace can be hard to give, if we don’t have a heart for giving and certainly don’t desire to forgive. Michele Mayer cites How People Grow by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend. Our ability to offer grace to others, “comes to us through the grace of God as He loves and forgives us.”
Michele continues, “most of us, even operating in our own inner strength, seem to have the ability to extend grace to someone we love, but who occasionally does something to upset us. Nobody’s perfect, right?” Yet, there are members of families whom even though state they love another, refuse to offer that person grace. Grace and forgiveness are gifts we offer ourselves as much as the other person. It allows us to be free of the bitterness and resentment we carry toward another.
What would happen if every person opted to give grace to just one person that day? Can you imagine the impact it would make on our lives?
I Cor. 15:10 NIV, “but by grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect…”