My guess is that within the last few years, you have not really stopped to think about what grace means to you and your life. If not, let me urge you to open up your Bible and look in your glossary for the many, many verses that discuss the grace of God and truly study them, because grace is the very thing that will get you through almost every bad thing you can go through in your life.
As a counselor, I teach grace first and foremost. How do I do this??
The couple that comes to me who are struggling with their marriage – you can guarantee that one or the other of them has said or done something they wish they had not. Therefore, it is now mu job to get the other person to reach has far down as they need to in order to show grace to their spouse. “That’s impossible! You have no clue what they have done!’ is what I hear almost every time. Then I remind them that God is in the room with us at that very moment. What if God looked at you and said, “I cannot forgive them – I know what they have done!” Is that what you would like God to do? Because it is exactly what you are doing right this moment.
God gives us grace to the point where it makes no sense to us. We think that how our world works is what God is limited to. Meaning, when people hurt us, they deserve to be hurt back. God is no limited to how we see and do things. God looks at us and He sees a people who are broken and are born with a sin nature that is possible to overcome by ourselves. God knows that we are helpless without Him and if He simply judged us by how we act, Heaven would be totally empty.
I understand how very easy it is in the middle of being hurt by others to want to retaliate. We want people to get what they have coming to them. Yet if you have ever gives true grace to someone who has hurt you, you have seen a change come over them that is truly life changing. Much like when we realize that God loves us no matter what. We cannot sin so much that God will not love us forever. God will never love you less than He has forever. God realizes our desperate need for grace and in His ultimate love for us, He gives it to us freely – and yes that makes no sense to us.
This is why faith comes before grace. Let me ask you – do you truly BELIEVE that God loves you no matter what? If you do not, then you can count on having a lots of heartache in your life that you do not have to have. The minute you truly BELIEVE that God loves you no matter what, you will be amazed at how easy it becomes over time to show grace to other people.
I have personally witnessed people be through through horrible abuse, both mentally and physically for many years on end, and yet they have not only shown grace to their abusers but they openly pray for them every chance they get! If only we could all have the same heart to everyone around us.
It is really easy to understand. Are you perfect? No. Neither am I, for sure. Then this means that we need grace from God in order to live eternally in Heaven, right? Yes it does. Also we are not God right? Right. So judging others and holding grudges against them is simply not what God demands of us. If we need grace, and we do, then so does every other person in the world. So who are we not to give grace – even when it makes no sense to us!
So the next time you feel like you just cannot forgive someone, that what they have said or done to you is unforgivable, just take a quick minute and do a quick inventory of the all of the wrongs that you have been forgiven for, and then if you still are not able to show grace to them, then I would ask you to have a conversation with God about the state of your heart.
I know showing grace is incredibly hard and I will confess that I do not always do it myself. But what I will say to you is that very shortly after I refuse the grace, the Holy Spirit reminds me that an ungraceful heart opens the doors to hell, and then I quickly forgive the person and let them know that I only have grace for them. Hell last forever!!! Grace takes only a minute to give. Do not lose Heaven over a minute of hurt!
With grace and Love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick