Thursday, February 09, 2017

Grace Leads to Grace, except when it doesn't

I am having a crappy morning.  I'm home (I work from Danville on Thursdays) and the times that I feel the crappiest are when I don't extend grace.   Here's why.

Remember Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18 about the unforgiving servant?  He owes his master a LOT of money.  I mean the equivalent of millions of dollars.   His master calls him in to talk to him, and he begs his master for time.  The master doesn’t give him time to pay him back — he actually forgives the debt!   Unheard of.  Impossible.  Crazy.  But yes, he forgives it all.

Upon leaving that conversation, the Bible says that the guy went out and found a lowly fellow servant who owed him a few bucks.   The fellow servant did the same thing and begged for time to pay him back, but he said no and had him thrown into prison.  The end of the story is that the master finds out, and suddenly the first servant finds himself in deep deep trouble (delivered to the tormenters) until he could pay the millions back in full.

That story is you and me often.   We have been given an incredible, unheard of, impossible, crazy amount of grace by God.  He has forgiven us for everything we ever did.  But how often do we walk away from that forgiveness and run into someone who has done something to wrong us — something so small in comparison to what God has forgiven us for that it isn’t even funny.   And we can’t extend that grace.

Bart and I have been given multiple opportunities to learn how to give grace.   We have been hurt and hurt again and again by our children, and often we screw up and forget that God says 70 times 7… in other words, forgive…. everything …. forever.

So this morning I’m mad at myself.  In recognizing my own lack of grace and forgiveness of others, I am ashamed.   But the beauty of it all is that God has enough grace for that too.

Remember, grace leads to grace.  Keep in mind all you have been forgiven for as you deal with the people in your life who you need to extend grace to.  And when you can’t, remember, God’s grace is there for you too.

Ever heard this song?  I can’t remember if I’d shared it with you before but it’s pretty powerful and not your “typical Christian song."

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